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To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will bring forward legislation similar to H.R.1079, (Holly's Law), introduced into the United States House of Representatives in March 2006; and if she will make a statement; 
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The safety of all medicines in the United Kingdom is continuously monitored by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. Since initial licensing in 1991, the safety of mifepristone (Mifegyne, RU-486)a medicine used for abortion has been carefully monitored through review of reports of suspected adverse drug reactions and through periodic safety reports submitted by the manufacturer. Such reviews have evaluated both suspected complications and deaths relating to this medicine.
In 2005, following new advice from the United States Food and Drug Administration, where this product is used in combination with another medicine that is not licensed for this purpose in the UK, reports of suspected serious adverse reactions associated with mifepristone, including cases of serious bacterial infection, were thoroughly reviewed. The regulatory authorities within Europe, including the UK, did not identify any new safety issues in this review. No additional enquiry is necessary. Regulatory action to withdraw this medicine in the UK, equivalent to that proposed in H.R. 1079 (Holly's Law) in the United States, is not appropriate since European Union advice, including UK expert advice, is that the balance of risks and benefits of mifepristone remains positive.
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action her Department is taking in response to the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products' recommendations (document CPMP/SWP/372/01) on the investigation of the carcinogenic potential of insulin analogues. 
Jane Kennedy: The safety of human insulin analogues in clinical practice is continually monitored by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the European Medicines Agency. Human insulin analogues are licensed through the European centralised licensing procedure. No pre-clinical studies have been specifically requested in relation to this issue by the MHRA.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what criteria were used to assess the need for each of the options for proposed changes to veterinary supervision arrangements within the Meat Hygiene Service. 
Criteria used to assess the need for each of the options for proposed changes to veterinary supervision arrangements within the meat hygiene
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service (MHS) are as detailed in the MHS paper, Veterinary supervision arrangements within the MHS, and the July 2005 report by DNV Consulting, Review of options for provision of Veterinary Surgeons within the Meat Hygiene Service. Both of these papers were included as part of the 12-week public consultation on proposed changes to veterinary supervision arrangements, launched by the MHS on 11 April 2006.
Mr. Byrne: My hon. Friend, the Under-Secretary of State for Health (Caroline Flint) has not met with representatives of the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) to discuss alteration of the arrangements for veterinary supervision.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the options which were considered for the provision of veterinary inspections at meat plants; and why each option which was rejected was rejected. 
Mr. Byrne: The options for proposed changes to veterinary supervision arrangements within the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) are set out in the 12-week public consultation launched on 11 April 2006. These papers set out and discuss the various options. Copies are available in the Library.
The only option that has so far been rejected is the option to maintain current arrangements. This has been rejected since the existing veterinary structure will not deliver the changes required as a result of Professor Wall's independent inquiry into the MHS in 2004, nor will it meet the other drivers for change, as detailed in the consultation.
Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the impact on patients of medical staff redundancies in hospitals in South East London; and if she will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: The responsibility for commissioning, delivering and performance managing health services rests with the local national health service and so it is for the local strategic health authorities, primary care trusts and trusts to assess the local impact of changes in staffing levels.
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 2 May 2006]: The primary outcome measure for assertive outreach teams is not a reduction in hospital admissions. The principal purpose of assertive outreach teams is to provide intensive support for people with severe mental illness, and who might not otherwise engage with mainstream mental health services, in their own homes or in other community settings. In December 2005, 17,000 people were receiving care from 262 assertive outreach teams, representing a 14 per cent. increase in caseload compared to 2004.
In addition to assertive outreach teams, crisis resolution services are designed to respond promptly to people in crisis, providing assessment and effective home treatment, including medication in their own home or in other community settings. At the end of March 2005, there were 343 crisis resolution teams. In the first three quarters of the financial year 200506, crisis resolution teams provided 61,000 home treatment episodes for patients who would otherwise have been admitted.
Caroline Flint: The Department does not make projected estimates for the uptake of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination. In line with World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations, there is a national target of 95 per cent., uptake of two doses of MMR. This target, as well as effectively protecting individual children, their families and communities, is also part of an integrated immunisation approach to achieving measles and rubella control targets while maximizing programme efficiencies as detailed in the Strategic plan for measles and congenital rubella infection in the European region of WHO, 2003."
Bortezomib (velcade) is licensed for the treatment of adults with cancer of the bone marrow (multiple myeloma) who have received at least one prior treatment and whose disease is worsening on their last treatment.
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Bortezomib has been referred to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for appraisal. NICE plans to publish its single technology appraisal on bortezomib for multiple myeloma in September 2006. Further information on this appraisal can be found on NICE's website at www.nice.org.uk.
In the interim, there are no national restrictions on or guidelines for prescribing bortezomib on the national health service for patients who fit the licensed indication. Funding for licensed treatments should not be withheld because guidance from NICE is unavailable. In these circumstances, we expect primary care trusts to take full account of available evidence when reaching funding decisions. This is confirmed in Health Service Circular 1999/176", which asks NHS bodies to continue with local arrangements for the managed introduction of new technologies where guidance from NICE is not available at the time the treatment or technology first became available.
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