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BGMA welcomes Department of Health consultation on generic substitution

The BGMA today welcomed the Department of Health’s consultation on generic substitution announced this morning.

BGMA Director Warwick Smith said:
The BGMA strongly supports the Department’s favoured alternative of enabling pharmacists to fulfil prescriptions for a specific list of branded medicines by dispensing an equivalent generic medicine. This offers a perfect balance between the need for the NHS to gain maximum value from the medicines it uses and the unfounded fears expressed by a number of stakeholders. It will build upon the already successful penetration of generic prescribing in the UK (83%).
The reality is that generic medicines are approved to the same standards of safety, quality and efficacy as the equivalent brands and offer cost savings of up to 90%. The vast majority of generics are interchangeable, and the medicines regulatory processes put in place specific arrangements to cater for the few that are not.
The changes proposed by the Department focus on this vast majority of products where there is no clinical reason for patients to receive much more expensive branded drugs rather than much more cost-effective generics. For patients to receive the branded versions of these products achieves nothing but to waste scarce NHS resources.