DoH consultation - U-turn over generic substitution

Proposals to introduce generic substitution will be subject to public consultation, it has been revealed.

Dr Bill Beeby
Dr Bill Beeby

Earlier this year GPC prescribing lead Dr Bill Beeby expressed concern when it was revealed that there might be no formal consultation or parliamentary debate on plans to allow pharmacists to substitute drugs prescribed by brand with generic replacements.

But the DoH in England has now agreed to conduct a formal consultation on the proposals, which GPs have suggested could affect patient care.

The plans were originally set out in changes to the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme agreed last year.

A DoH spokeswoman said the government intends to formally consult in the autumn on its proposals.

She added that the outcome of the consultation would influence the timetable for implementation of generic substitution, originally planned for January next year.

Introduction of generic substitution will involve changes to NHS arrangements and devolved administrations will determine their own plans. The Scottish government will discuss the plans. Northern Ireland is piloting it.

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