Deal enables pharmacists to switch from branded to generic drugs

Pharmacists will be able to substitute drugs prescribed by brand with generic equivalents under the government's new agreement with the pharmaceutical industry.

Credit: Haymarket Medical/Mike Alsford
Credit: Haymarket Medical/Mike Alsford

The new agreement on drug pricing will be brought in next February, with generic substitution being introduced in January 2010.

Other measures in the new Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS) include more flexible pricing arrangements to enable companies to introduce drugs at a low initial price with the option of higher prices if value is proven and action to support patient access to drugs not approved by NICE.

The agreement is centred around a 3.9% cut in drug prices to come into force in February 2009 and a further 1.9% cut in January 2010.

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