Experts warn on costs of generics

Generic substitution could 'seriously jeopardise patient well being', doctors and charity leaders have warned.

Primary Care Dermatology Society executive chairman Dr Stephen Kownacki and primary care nurse practitioner Deborah Duncan were among 19 signatories of a letter to The Times, alongside hospital specialists and leading charities.

The cost of generic substitution - allowing pharmacists to switch branded drugs on prescriptions to generic alternatives - could be greater than any savings, the letter warned.

'Only the prescribing doctor or nurse knows the patient's medical history,' the letter says. 'Substitutions should never be made without their consent and awareness.'

The letter's authors recognised that there are cases where generic prescribing is appropriate, but pointed to 'clear evidence that, for some medicines, it may be dangerous'.

Last month, health minister Mike O'Brien launched a consultation on the DoH's plans for generic substitution in England. The proposals are open for comments (www.dh.gov.uk) until 30 March 2010.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

BROWSE BY THERAPEUTIC AREA

A-Z listing of therapeutic areas. Find the latest clinical news and education

SEE ALL TOPICS AND PAGES

Browse a list of all of the pages and topics on GPonline

Pain Resource Centre

Information on chronic and neuropathic pain

Otitis Externa Toolkit

Resources to help treat this outer ear infection

GPs practising in the UK can request to receive free copies of GP by completing our online registration form. For paid subscriptions to GP visit our subscriptions site.