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Updated Statement on disruption to supply of generic medicines and concessionary pricing

Warwick Smith, Director General of the British Generic Manufacturers Association (BGMA), said:
“Most medicines and their ingredients are traded in Euros or US dollars, so the fall in value of the Pound Sterling by almost 20% following the Brexit vote had already led to increases in UK prices. There have also been disruptions to the supply of a number of generic medicines due to production issues that have impacted a small number of manufacturers. Other generic medicines manufacturers have increased their production of the affected products or have entered or re-entered the market in them.

The industry’s focus has rightly been on ensuring continuity of supply to the greatest extent possible in the interest of patients. Production changes such as this, however, inevitably incur additional costs and the prices of these products have increased as a result. To reflect higher costs incurred by community pharmacists, the Department of Health sets so-called concessionary prices for these products based on surveys of actual selling prices in the market. Data we have collected from our members for October showed that concessionary prices for that month were on average 2.5 times higher than manufacturers’ prices. We understand that the Department is proposing to modify how it sets these prices going forward.”