November 10, 2010 by admin
The Department of Health (DH) has announced it will not be going ahead with plans for generic substitution of medicines in primary care in England, following the consultation earlier this year (see here for details and here for responses. It says that professionals will continue to base their prescribing decisions on their assessment of individual patients and their circumstances. Nearly 85% of prescriptions are already for generics and the DH says it will continue to look for ways of supporting the use of generics. Minister Lord Howe said that, as well as listening to concerns, it was also, “not clear whether the proposals would have provided substantial benefit to the NHS, compared to the efforts of frontline staff to implement them”.
January 20, 2010 by admin
Proposals that would allow generic medicines to be dispensed instead of branded ones in primary care have been set out in a consultation by the Department of Health (DH). The consultation closes on 30 March.
The three options are:
- To do nothing (option 1).
- Allow substitution by generic equivalents but with a list of products that are exempt from the scheme (option 2).
- Allow substitution by generic equivalents but with a list of products that are included in the scheme (option 3).
The DH favours option 3, effectively the inverse of option 2, for several reasons including the fact that the in this case the list can be kept short (probably around 40 products to begin with) to focus on those drugs where the greatest cost savings are available, and that the list and the system will be more manageable.
For both options 2 and 3, prescribers will be able to opt in or opt out of the arrangements on individual prescriptions so that they can tailor their prescribing to the clinical needs of the individual patient: the DH’s favoured route for this is an opt-out endorsement for option 3.
September 15, 2009 by admin
The Department of Health has now announced that it will launch, after all, a full formal consultation about plans for automatic generic substitution later this year, according to press reports. The plans mean that pharmacists would substitute generic versions for branded medicines unless the prescriber has ticked a box saying do not substitute.
The proposals have caused much debate, with several groups calling for consultation after the plans were announced.