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Pharmaceutical Lobbying

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he undertakes of the extent to which patients and professional groups who lobby for the increased use of pharmaceutical drugs are (a) financed and (b) influenced by pharmaceutical companies. [55849]

Mr. Lammy: We make no such formal assessments, but do recognise that patient and professional representative groups receive funding from a variety of sources, including pharmaceutical companies.

Prescription Exemptions

Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to review the prescription

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exemption system; and what plans he has to extend the prescription exemption to people suffering from asthma. [56254]

Mr. Lammy: We have no current plans to review the prescription charging arrangements. Our policy is to give priority to helping people who may have difficulty in paying charges, rather than extending the exemption arrangements to people with other medical conditions including asthma.

Architectural Commission

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which 10 architectural partnerships have received the most commissions since 1997 from the NHS; and how much money each has each received for its work. [56931]

Mr. Hutton: Of the 28 major hospital schemes (24 private finance initiatives and four public capital) which have reached financial close, the following architect firms and services have been commissioned by national health service trusts:

TrustArchitectCost (£)
South Buckinghamshire NHS trustDavid Hutchison Partnership55,006
South Manchester university hospitals NHS trustHLM275,000
Hereford hospitals NHS trustStrategic Health(21)
Worcestershire acute hospitals NHS trustStrategic Health(21)
Swindon and Marlborough NHS trustAnsell and Bailey134,178
Leeds community and mental health services teaching NHS trustThompson Spencer Associates(21)
St. George's hospital NHS trustBroadway Malyan45,000
Dudley group of hospitals NHS trustLlewellyn Davies(21)
Berkshire healthcare NHS trustLlewellyn Davies36,879
Gloucestershire Royal NHS trustNightingale Associates163,100
Post PITN: Anshen Dyer Architects39,273
Publicly funded schemes
Rochdale healthcare NHS trustGilling Dod144,000
Central Sheffield university hospitals NHS trustGeorge Trew Dunn Partnership415,000
Royal Berkshire and Battle hospital NHS trustNightingale Associates3,552,845
Guy's and St. Thomas NHS trustMichael Hopkins and Partners2,190,169

(21) Provided a package of advisory services, which included design elements, so not possible to identify architectural fees separately

Prescription Charges

Mr. Mike O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will add cystic fibrosis to the list of medical conditions entitled to free NHS prescriptions; [58352]

Mr. Lammy: Our policy is to give priority to helping people who may have difficulty in paying charges, rather than extending the exemption arrangements to people with other medical conditions such as cystic fibrosis.

When we reviewed the prescription charging arrangements as part of the 1998 comprehensive spending review, we noted that there was no consensus on what additional conditions might be included in any revised list of medical exemptions, or how distinctions could be drawn between one condition and another. We concluded that it would not be right to consider one group in isolation.

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We do not have information on what percentage of sufferers of cystic fibrosis are in receipt of free prescriptions. Information about items dispensed does not include information about patients.

Mr. Mike O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what medical conditions confer NHS prescription charge exemption; and in which year they were made exempt. [58355]

Mr. Lammy: The medical conditions conferring exemption from prescription charge were introduced in 1968 and are set out in the National Health Service (Charges for Drugs and Appliances) Regulations 2000. They are:

Mr. Lyons: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the estimated cost would be of removing prescription charges in the UK. [60483]

Mr. Lammy: We estimate that the loss of prescription charge income in England would be around £434 million in 2002–03. Additionally, there could be significant additional costs to the drugs bill if people who currently pay charges sought prescriptions for medicines and other items which they currently purchase.


Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what proportion of extra spending announced for the NHS in the recent Budget will be allocated for treatment of and research into diabetes; [59324]

Mr. Lammy: Information is not collected centrally how much Type 1 diabetes costs the national health service in treatment, but it has been estimated that around 5 per cent. of total NHS resources are used for the care of people with diabetes.

The Budget provides the highest sustained growth in NHS history, with annual average increases of 7.4 per cent. in real terms over the five years 2003–04 to 2007–08. Decisions about the allocation of the increased funding will be announced later this year.

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North Staffordshire (Health Care)

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will visit North Staffordshire to discuss with constituents in Packmoor progress on their petition for a GP surgery. [59742]

Mr. Lammy: A range of options are being considered by North Stoke Primary Care Trust (PCT) in order to ensure that the residents of Packmoor and the rest of North Stoke receive a general practitioner service fit for the needs of the local population. I have no current plans to visit North Stoke but would be willing to meet constituents to discuss their concerns when I or one of my colleagues are next in the area, and the PCT's plans are more fully developed.

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding was given to the North Staffordshire health authority to assist it in producing the strategic service development plan; and if he will place a copy of the consultant's report in the Library. [59740]

Mr. Hutton: North Staffordshire health authority received £60,000 from the Department to assist in producing its strategic service development plan. The PriceWaterhouseCoopers consultants' report formed one element of the overall expenditure.

The consultants' report contains confidential and sensitive information about general practitioner services and cannot in its current format be placed in the public domain. The consultants' report is being used to inform the strategic services development plan, the main report of which is due for completion in summer. A copy of that report will be made available to local MPs and stakeholders.


Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on fibromyalgia; and what assistance is available through the National Health Service for sufferers of fibromyalgia. [60072]

Ms Blears: The Department funds research to support its work on policy development and evaluation in health and social care. The Department supports research and development of relevance to the national health service in hospitals, general practice and other health care settings. The Medical Research Council (MRC), which is funded by the Department of Trade and Industry, funds medical research as part of the Government's funding of the research base.

The Department commissioned a research project entitled "A Randomised Control Trial of exercise prescription in fibromyalgia" which was completed in September 2001. In addition the Department provides NHS support funding for research commissioned by the research councils and charities but which takes place in the NHS. The Department is currently supporting 9 such ongoing projects on fibromyalgia and full details can be found on the National Research Register at:hhtp:;; research/nrr.htm

The MRC is not currently supporting any projects on fibromyalgia. However, it always welcomes high quality applications for support, which are judged in open

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competition with other demands on funding. Awards are made according to their scientific quality and importance to human health.

The NHS provides a wide range of services to which people with fibromyalgia have access, and such patients are seen within a wide range of hospital specialities. Under the present system it is for primary care trusts to plan and arrange the services available to people in their care, as they are closest to the people they serve and so best placed to respond sensitively to their needs.

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