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Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): These findings have been drawn to the Government's attention by the Haemophilia Society and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Haemophilia.

In England, all haemophilia patients up to the age of 21 years receive recombinant clotting factors. The Government are considering the case for extending provision to all other haemophilia patients. A decision will be made shortly.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What action they are taking to make treatment with Enbrel and Remicade available to people in Northern Ireland currently on waiting lists to receive biologic therapy for severe rheumatoid arthritis; and how widely this treatment is now available to National Health Service patients in England and Wales.[HL935]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Treatment with Enbrel and Remicade has been available to patients in Northern Ireland since November 1999. In recognition of the high cost of these and other specialist drugs, the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety in Northern Ireland made an extra £3 million available in the June 2002 monitoring round. It is for each health and social services board individually to determine how best to deploy these funds to meet local need. Specific proposals to reduce the waiting lists for biologic therapies are currently being considered by the boards.

In England and Wales we do not hold information centrally about drugs prescribed and dispensed in hospitals, which is where Enbrel and Remicade are supplied. Therefore, we cannot provide information on how widely available this treatment is to National Health Service patients. However, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence issued guidance on these drugs in March 2002. It recommended that consultant rheumatologists, or consultant paediatric rheumatologists in the case of juvenile idiopathic arthritis, should prescribe these drugs in accordance with the guidelines set out by the British Society for Rheumatology or British Paediatric Rheumatology Group.

We have issued directions obliging health authorities and primary care trusts to provide appropriate funding for recommended treatments. This is in line with our manifesto commitment to ensure that patients receive drugs and treatments recommended by NICE on the NHS if deemed appropriate by their clinicians. The NHS has three months from the date of publication of each

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technology appraisal guidance to provide funding so that clinical decisions made by doctors involving NICE recommended treatments or drugs can be implemented.

Fertility Clinics

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether it is legal for research institutions to offer financial or other inducements to fertility clinics in exchange for human embryos; and[HL985]

    Whether it is legal for human embryos to be created specifically for subsequent sale to research institutions.[HL986]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 provides that the creation of human embryos outside the body and the use of those embryos can only take place under the conditions of a licence issued by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. The authority would not issue a licence for embryos to be created for subsequent sale.

It is essential that couples who are considering donating their embryos for research should receive proper counselling. It is appropriate for research institutions to support fertility clinics to provide that counselling in order to ensure that patients are able to make a fully informed choice about whether to donate their embryos for research, and to enable those donations to take place if the patients so wish. In line with this, the Medical Research Council (MRC) is to make funding available to clinics to employ nurse co-ordinators who will ensure that the donor couple are fully informed and able to make such choices of their own free will, and also to liaise with researchers to inform them if embryos become available. The MRC is not offering financial or other inducements in exchange for human embryos.

Smoking Restrictions: Impact

Lord Faulkner of Worcester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What impact smoking restrictions envisaged in the Health and Safety Commission's proposed approved code of practice would have on (a) consumer expenditure in the hospitality sector and (b) tourism revenue.[HL835]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): The draft regulatory impact assessment, prepared as part of the consultation on a proposal for an approved code of practice on passive smoking at work, did not specifically address the impact of the proposed approved code of practice (ACoP) on consumer expenditure in the hospitality sector and tourism revenue.

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Criminal Cases in Consequence of 1994 Bomb Explosions at Embassy of Israel and Balfour House

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Goldsmith on 23 July (WA 43–44), since the Appeals Committee refused on 14 November leave to appeal to the petitioners in the case of Regina v. Alami and Regina v. Botmeh how many instances of human error affecting full disclosure occurred and when, both at first instance and on appeal, in the criminal cases tried in consequence of the bomb explosions on 26 July 1994 at the embassy of Israel and Balfour House; and whether anyone has been disciplined on account of these errors.[HL452]

The Attorney-General (Lord Goldsmith): It is impossible at this distance of time to reconstruct the complex series of events in this case so as to identify with any degree of accuracy how many instances of human error occurred in relation to disclosure. I can however say that no one has been disciplined as a consequence of any such error. This is because any errors were made in good faith and did not constitute misconduct. Moreover, in so far as the question suggests that errors affecting disclosure occurred on appeal, it is incorrect; the errors occurred at the pre-trial or trial stage.

I refer the noble Lord to the decision of the Court of Appeal, which expressed itself entirely satisfied about five things. First, prosecuting counsel had access to everything they wanted to see and examined all relevant or potentially material matter in accordance with the relevant legal tests. Secondly, the trial judge was correct to rule as he did in relation to the disclosure and non-disclosure of the matter before him. Thirdly, no one attempted to conceal from the Court of Appeal any relevant or potentially material matter. Fourthly, public interest immunity was rightly claimed in relation to matters which the court saw, because it affected national security at the highest level and would, if disclosed, present a clear and immediate threat to life. Fifthly, apart from two matters, there was nothing of significance before the Court of Appeal which was not before the trial judge.

Having ordered disclosure of those two matters to the appellants in a suitable form and having heard submissions in relation to them, the Court of Appeal was satisfied that no injustice was done to the appellants by not having access to them at trial.

The two matters which the court ordered should be disclosed were further information prior to the bombings suggesting that a terrorist organisation unconnected to the appellants may have been contemplating an attack on the Israeli embassy and an explanation as to the circumstances in which a document was not shown to counsel and a later document was not shown to the trial judge. As to the information, the court was satisfied that this would have had no impact on the trial. As to the documents,

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the court accepted the explanation put forward and said that this explanation disposed of any sinister implication.

HMS "Nottingham": Repair Costs

Lord Craig of Radley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What additional costs, in addition to the repair cost of around £26 million, will have been incurred before HMS "Nottingham" is returned in November 2004 to operational tasking, including those in Australia in preparation for her recovery to the United Kingdom and her trans-shipment to Portsmouth by heavy lift ship.[HL555]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach): Further to repair costs of around £26 million (including the cost of materials supplied by the department), further expenditure, incurred before HMS "Nottingham's" return to operational service in November 2004, is expected to be about £13 million. This includes the cost of preparations in Australia for her recovery to the United Kingdom and of her transportation to Portsmouth by heavy lift ship.

In addition, HMS "Nottingham's" Sea Dart missiles, which were damaged by seawater, have been written off at a value of £3.5 million. They will not be replaced.

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