Generic inhalers for asthma

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.309.6966.1440 (Published 26 November 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:1440
  1. Mike Pearson,
  2. Richard Lewis,
  3. John Watson,
  4. Jon Ayres,
  5. Geoff Ibbotson,
  6. Dermot Ryan David Flynn,
  7. Jeff Williams
  1. Consultant physician, Aintree Chest Centre, Fazakerley Hospital, Liverpool L9 7AL.
  2. Consultant physician, Research fellow in respiratory medicine Worcester Royal Infirmary, Worcester WR1 3AS.
  3. Consultant respiratory physician, Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham B9 5SS.
  4. General practitioner, Mark Street Surgery, Rochdale OL12 9BE.
  5. General practitioner, Woodbrook Medical Centre, Loughborough LE11 1NH.
  6. Consultant paediatrician, Royal Free Hospital, London NW3 2QG.
  7. Consultant paediatrician, Glan Clywd District General Hospital, Rhyl LL18 5UJ.

    EDITOR,—A major drive towards generic prescribing is occurring in the NHS on the premise that generic products deliver equally effective results while yielding an appreciable saving on costs. We have reservations about the use of generic inhalers for asthma on both counts. In November last year the NHS Supplies Authority arranged a contract for generic inhalers for asthma and at the same time wrote to the chief executives of all NHS trusts, urging them to ignore approaches from their clinicians on the grounds that they may have been influenced by the manufacturers of branded products. The letter included the statement, “there is no doubt after stringent tests by our [quality control] that the generic product is equally effective with the Allen and Hanburys products.” This statement must be called into question since adequate data on …

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