Why Are Medication Costs Rising in the UK?
In the UK four out of five prescriptions are prescribed generically, but more interestingly the Department of Health has conducted a study and discovered that 5% of prescriptions are prescribed as a brand where there are generic alternatives available.
Increasing Cost of Medication in the United Kingdom
The Department of Health are keen to promote the generic alternative for a select list of products, encouraging pharmacists and medical professionals to substitute where appropriate for the generic alternative, keeping the balance between patient safety and health, clinical restrictions, cost on the NHS and how easy the alternative is to administer i.e. alongside other medication.
This coincides with the new Conservative Liberal Government’s research where it has identified drug prices as one of the areas to focus on when addressing the major spending review and cuts. The current scheme which is due to end in 2014 is likely to be replaced with a value pricing system, which could see the Government make huge savings as this will give them more control over drug prices and help them make the necessary saving on the NHS. This would also bring the United Kingdom inline with the rest of the world where drug manufacturers aren’t free to set their own prices.
Increasing Cost of Cancer Medications
In the last two years, we have seen high increases in the cost of certain cancer treatment medication which the NHS has paid for; some medication raising from £5.00 to £30.00. But with budget restrictions the Government is looking to reduce costs but not at the cost of patients safety and health.
This means that at the end of the scheme in 2014 the Government will have the influence it needs to reduce the cost for the NHS, with the hope that the efficiency savings will maintain the same level of patient care and have less of an impact than other efficiency saving alternatives including extending patient waiting times. Which if patient care is maintained (or indeed should improve) patients shouldn’t notice the transition and the NHS will be able to care for people with the same level of care.
This guest post is by H Parker who has gained additional knowledge of the industry through talks and studies she has read. Starting out as a pharmacist and getting the inspiration to become more involved in the next level from a talk given at University.