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Notice given 2 February 2004

2520  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1) For each of the past 5 years, how many Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme prescriptions for Ritalin and other methylphenidate and dexamphetamine drugs were filled.

(2) Given that between 1990 and 2000 the United States Food and Drug Administration MedWatch program reported that there were 186 deaths attributed to methylphenidate use, how many deaths were attributed to the use of these drugs for the same period in Australia.

(3) What requirements are there for pharmacists and general practitioners to warn parents of children prescribed these drugs about their potential risks and side effects.

(4) What medical research is being conducted in Australia about the effects of using methylphenidate and dexamphetamine in children.

Senator Allison: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 2521-2522)—

(1) Given that the numbers of rural and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders students enrolled in most university undergraduate courses in medicine, pharmacy and nursing declined between 2000 and 2001, what strategy is being adopted to improve participation rates of these groups in these courses.

(2) Given this decline in Indigenous enrolments, on what basis does the Government claim that higher education enrolments are ‘trending steadily upwards’, as stated on the Liberal Party of Australia’s website in issue no. 8 of Behind the Scenes , dated 15 December 2000.

2521 Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing

2522 Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training