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Drug pricing

NPA asked to lobby wholesalers to limit generic price rises

Pharmacists’ representatives in Coventry have asked the National Pharmacy Association to help limit generic medicines prices, after being told that the prices pharmacists were paying were not being matched by the concession price paid out by the government.

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has been asked to lobby wholesalers to limit generic medicines price increases by a local pharmaceutical committee (LPC).

The call from Coventry LPC came after local community pharmacists told the LPC that the price they were paying for generic drugs was regularly not matched by the concession price paid out by the government.

Pharmacists at a Coventry LPC meeting held earlier in 2018 asked Nitin Sodha, NPA chair and an attendee at the meeting, to lobby for drug wholesalers not to sell any generic products higher than any concessionary price for the drugs negotiated between the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee and the Department for Health and Social Care.

A spokesperson for the NPA said the organisation recognised “the difficulties outlined by Coventry LPC and shares its concerns about generic medicine shortages and price increases”.

“Pharmacists have shown great professionalism and put patients first by continuing to supply medicines to patients promptly in good faith, despite knowing that they may be doing so at a loss,” they said.

“Our own surveys of NPA members confirm that the medicines supply chain, and certainly the matter of dispensing at a loss, remains an area of ongoing concern for pharmacy contractors.”

The NPA spokesperson added: “We continue to argue for a fair, competitive and sustainable generic medicines market, with a resilient and robust medicines supply chain that provides pharmacies with a rational and fair financial return.”

This article was updated on 12 September 2018 to reflect the fact that Coventry LPC had asked the NPA to lobby wholesalers rather than the government.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20205433

Readers' comments (1)

  • I retired from a “generic” manufacturing company 4 years ago. My experience was that over time it was increasingly difficult and expensive to source API’s as manufacturers in Asia dropped out and those that remained reduced batch sizes etc. A single audit trip to Asia could double the cost of an API.

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