Experts have called for a consultation on the effects of generic substitution, proposed to take effect from January 2010 as part of the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS).
A report, which calls into question the proposal to introduce generic substitution, was endorsed by a varied group of experts and patient bodies in July 2009. The Department of Health plans to introduce generic substitution in January 2010, as stated in the PPRS, to drive down costs and reduce the NHS’ drugs bill. However, those opposing the move claim it will in fact increase costs and put patient safety at risk.
The report, which was compiled by CancerBACUP, the Primary Care Dermatology Society and the European Parkinson’s Disease Society, and was funded by Norgine, argues that the move could lead to patient confusion and, crucially, to poorer patient outcomes.
The report calls for a public consultation on “the practical impact of generic substitution on patients adherence and outcomes and the potential impact of varying bioavailability on outcomes and adverse events”.
Further reading - An in-depth analysis of the UK pharmaceutical market, including some background information on the PPRS, is available from Espicom: The Pharmaceutical Market: United Kingdom (published June 2009)