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Policy and politics

SNP manifesto calls for devolution of the Misuse of Drugs Act

The Scottish National Party’s (SNP’s) 2019 general election manifesto calls for the devolution of the Misuse of Drugs Act, to allow Scotland to undertake “the full range of effective public health measures” to address drug addiction and prevent drug-related deaths.

Pending devolution of the Act, the Party’s manifesto asks the government to introduce a supervised drug consumption facility in Glasgow.

The SNP claims the Home Office has blocked proposals to pilot such a facility and drug consumption rooms would, it said, help “reduce the number of people dying from drug overdoses and tackle a rise in HIV among drug users”.

The manifesto also calls for an end to what it calls the NHS “spending gap” between Scotland and England. Frontline NHS spending in Scotland is £136 per head more than in England, the party said, claiming that closing this gap would “not only substantially increase health investment in England, but also allow us to increase the frontline investment in NHS Scotland to more than £17 billion by 2024/2025”.

The SNP also proposes a new law, the NHS Protection Act, which would “guarantee that trade deals will not undermine the founding principles of the NHS, nor open it to profit-driven exploitation”.

This law would mean that any future NHS trade deals would “require the explicit consent of the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly, and Northern Irish Assembly”, the party said.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20207400

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