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NHS: Pharmaceutical Services

Volume 709: debated on Wednesday 1 April 2009

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will launch a formal consultation on their proposal to introduce mandatory generic substitution by pharmacists of branded medicines prescribed by the National Health Service. [HL2584]

To ask Her Majesty's Government what process will be necessary to secure parliamentary approval of their proposal to introduce mandatory generic substitution by pharmacists of branded medicines prescribed under the National Health Service. [HL2585]

Discussions on generic substitution are currently under way with key national stakeholders. It is not possible to confirm whether or not there will be a formal consultation until we have completed this discussion stage.

The department is currently considering a scheme for generic substitution that would require negative resolution secondary legislation, but this is of course subject to confirmation of final proposals.

The scheme would not be mandatory in the sense that prescribers would not be able to exercise clinical choice; provision will be made to allow the prescriber to opt out of substitution where, in his clinical judgment, it is appropriate for the patient to receive a specific branded medicine. Provision may also be made to exclude certain categories of medicines for clinical reasons in the interests of patient safety.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they received during the recent negotiations on the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme in favour of introducing mandatory generic substitution by pharmacists of branded medicines prescribed under the National Health Service; and from which persons or bodies. [HL2586]

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and the department discussed generic substitution during the confidential negotiations on the 2009 Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme. Its introduction is now the subject of more widespread discussions with affected parties but it will not be mandatory.