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Wednesday, 5 May 1965

Senator McKELLAR - The Minister for Health has furnished the following reply to the honorable senator's questions -

1.   Yes.

2.   The Government has given consideration to the question of the manner in which prescriptions should be written, and it is believed that some savings could be effected if doctors were to prescribe by generic rather than brand names. Recognising, however, that the manner in which prescriptions are written is a matter for the individual medical practitioner, the question has been taken up with the Australian Medical Association. The honorable senator may be interested to know that the Federal Council of the Association passed the following resolution at its meeting in May, 1963-

That the Australian Medical Association should encourage the use of official names in prescribing, subject to the inalienable right of doctors to indicate the manufacturer of the product they wish to prescribe and subject to the institution of adequate quality controls by the Government.

I would also inform the honorable senator that, in all official publications relating to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, my Department has placed emphasis on the generic or approved names of pharmaceutical benefits preparations.

3.   No. 1 have no knowledge of such a contribution. Furthermore, the Government does not exercise control over the way in which available funds are allocated by private industry.

4.   No. As I stated recently, I do not consider that an inquiry into the Australian drug industry is warranted.

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