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Cheib

Original Poster:

9,122 posts

61 months

[news] 
Friday 13th July 2012 quote quote all
My impression are these seem to be phenominal businesses. Obviously have very good foot fall and I suppose a lot of the product is high margin and it's obviously one of the areas of retail where .com does not have a strong threat.

I've got a question relating to how prescriptions work.

I went to see my GP this morning to get an asthma presciption. The GSK product Seretide is £60 for a month's use. The GP went to great care to prescribe the generic as it's much cheaper (even telling me he'd just been to a lecture on this very subject/product). I go to Boots and they look up the prescription and just give me the GSK product Seretide which is obviously fine by me. My question is...how does that work ? Do pharmacies have carte blanche to give you more expensive medication as long as it's the same prescription ? Or can they only do that if the generic drugs aren't in stock. Obviously seems they have little incentive to keep any stock of the generic.

mmm-five

6,303 posts

170 months

[news] 
Friday 13th July 2012 quote quote all
Did your doctor prescribe a generic brand, or simply prescribe the generic active for the drug?

If he did the latter, then the pharmacist will supply whatever they have, based on the guidelines laid down by NICE. It may be that in this instance the branded Seretide (non Evohaler/Accuhaler/etc.) is the cheapest option (about £120/year for the 200mg dose/device).

Cheib

Original Poster:

9,122 posts

61 months

[news] 
Friday 13th July 2012 quote quote all
mmm-five said:
Did your doctor prescribe a generic brand, or simply prescribe the generic active for the drug?

If he did the latter, then the pharmacist will supply whatever they have, based on the guidelines laid down by NICE. It may be that in this instance the branded Seretide (non Evohaler/Accuhaler/etc.) is the cheapest option (about £120/year for the 200mg dose/device).
He prescribed the generic active for the drug. The Seretide inhaler I was given (by Boots) is £60 a time....250mg twice a day so it lasts for a months. £700 a year! It's not the cheapest as the GP checked to see how much the Seretide was before prescribing. I know it's £60 as I was first prescribed this by a private consultant and bought it at a pharmacy myself.

It makes sense that they give you what they have but why is a Pharmacy going to bother stocking the generic ? I assume there is more money in it for them to stock the branded Seretide in this case?

mmm-five

6,303 posts

170 months

[news] 
Friday 13th July 2012 quote quote all
It must make them more money, as that £120/year was the cost price to NICE/NHS, not the retail price.

irishbloke

42 posts

23 months

[news] 
Sunday 11th August 2013 quote quote all
Sorry to rehash an old thread but just thought I'd explain.

Seretide is still a patent protected product and whilst the GP may have written
the prescription generically there is no generic manufactured as it would be in
breach of the patent which GSK would clearly challenge. As such it makes no
difference how the prescription is written, there is only Seretide to dispense.

The pharmacy will have lost around £2 dispense the prescription. At present NHS clawback
on drug costs is around 5% higher than discounts achieved and the dispensing fee is around a pound.


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WetPaint

1,075 posts

67 months

[news] 
Sunday 11th August 2013 quote quote all
Take Salbutamol/Ventolin as an example.

Salbutamol is the generic drug, Ventolin is the brand. However, unlike Seretide, there is no patent protection so everybody can manufacture a salbutamol inhaler if they wish.

From a Wholesaler, ventolin will cost a little more than its generic equivalent. Equally, the pharmacy will be paid a little more from the NHS for filling a ventolin prescription.

If the Doctor prescribes salbutamol, the chemist can supply either a generic salbutamol OR a ventolin inhaler, however, they will only be reembursed the lower salbutamol price. Not best practice for the chemist, but it can and does happen.

If the doctor prescribes ventolin, the chemist can only supply ventolin and will be paid the higher price. If the chemist supplies a generic salbutamol, it would be fraudulent.

Drs are urged by their respective governing bodies (more recently the consortia) to prescribe the generic for many drugs as it is cheaper for the NHS. Pharmacies would very much prefer them to prescribe branded drugs as most (but not all) of the time, they produce a higher profit margin, but at a greater cost to the NHS.

In this case, the price difference is very small, but on some products, the differences can be as much as £30 or more for what is essentially an identical drug. The NHS will claw back just over 11% of the margin, but will still take a heavy loss vs generic, whereas the pharmacy will come out way ahead.


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