Skip to main content

Generic Drug Substitution

Volume 33: debated on Wednesday 1 December 1982

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list in the Official Report all instances reported to his Department of generic drug substitution in a National Health Service hospital leading, respectively, to problems of biological inequivalence, problems of differing quality between different sources of supply, problems of liability for alleged damage resulting from substitution and complaints from medical practitioners that their freedom to prescribe was being unreasonably restricted in the last 10 years.

Generic products are used to fill prescriptions in hospitals only in circumstances agreed between the medical and pharmaceutical staff concerned. Substitution will not take place in cases where there are doubts about bio-equivalence or differing quality. The expense of checking back over the last 10 years could not be justified, but I am not aware of any recent problems.