Letters: Generic switching to save money is not a new idea

Your article about the DoH predicting a £72 million generics saving (GP, 3 April) was interesting. But the DoH is proposing nothing that has not been looked at before.

The 1982 Greenfield report recommended the same thing and that doctors should tick a box if they did not wish the pharmacist to dispense a generic.

This was rejected by the government at the time (http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/ written_answers/1984/dec/03/generic-prescribing), but it then went on to introduce the limited list in 1985 (the 'Black List') which listed hundreds of drugs which GPs were no longer allowed to prescribe on the NHS - including ones which no GP was prescribing anyway.

Dr John Priestman, Kirkburton, West Yorkshire

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