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BGMA reaction to the National Audit Office investigation into NHS spending on generic medicines in primary care

Warwick Smith, Director General of the British Generic Manufacturers Association (BGMA), said: “We welcome the report from the National Audit Office and the clarity it has brought to the circumstances around the recent increase in the number of concessionary reimbursement prices for generic medicines.  

“All in the supply chain should be proud of the fact that despite two major, volume manufacturers not being able to supply medicines due to regulatory issues, patients were usually still able to access their medicines and other generic medicines manufacturers have now been able to step in and fill the gap. However, disruption to supply and production changes to meet the shortfall do inevitably lead to increased costs.

“We welcome that the report notes that ‘research suggests that the prices of generic medicines in the UK may be lower than in comparator countries’ and also that the increases in concessionary prices were not wholly as a result of increases in manufacturers’ prices.

“Our own data based on all generic medicines in the market show that, while there was a higher value of concessionary priced products in 2017, the actual average reimbursement price per product reduced by more than 30p compared to 2016 even taking into account the impact of concessionary prices. This demonstrates the overall value that generic medicines deliver in terms of reducing cost and increasing access for patients.”