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Scotland Act 1998

Second reservation

This reserves the regulation of prices charged for medical supplies or medicinal products supplied for the purposes of the National Health Service in Scotland, which is the health service established under section 1 of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978.

The existing statutory powers to control the maximum prices to be charged for medical supplies and medicinal products required by the National Health Service in the National Health Service Act 1977 (for England and Wales) and the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 (for Scotland) have never been used.  Instead there is a voluntary agreement made with the pharmaceutical industry known as the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (the PPRS) which is wider than the statutory powers.  The reservation of this matter is not therefore restricted to the subject-matter of the existing statutory provisions but is intended to cover the matter as regulated in the PPRS.

Under section 27 of the 1978 Act the Secretary of State for Scotland has a power to make regulations regarding the provision of pharmaceutical services.  As part of those regulations he sets a drug tariff which is used for the purposes of reimbursing pharmacists for the cost of supplying medicines.  The reservation of the regulation of prices charged for medicines supplied to the Health Service does not cover the regulation of provision of pharmaceutical services (including the drug tariff) except in respect of the price of supplying medicines by way of providing those services.

“Medical supplies” and “medicinal products” are defined by reference to section 49(3) of the National Health Service (Scotland) 1978 and section 130(1) of the Medicines Act 1968 respectively.

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