Pricing delay will avert drug crisis

Plans to cut out-of-patent drug prices have been delayed following GP and industry concerns the changes would lead to supply shortages over Christmas.

The government and drug manufacturers have decided to delay 'by at least three months' changes to the prices of branded generic drugs.

A DoH spokeswoman said: 'We are aware that particular concerns have been raised about the impact of the provisions relating to out-of-patent medicines if they were implemented around the Christmas period.'

Last week, GPs raised concerns that implementing changes on 1 January might leave patients unable to obtain medicines and force GPs to dispense at a loss (Drug shortage looms as price change hits supply, GP, 24 October).

Martin Sawer, chairman of the British Association of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers, told GP that the changes to the prices of branded generics could cause uncertainty.

tom.moberly@haymarket.com.

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