Drug industry challenges government's action on generic statins

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 12 July 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:63
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
  1. BMJ

    The trade body representing the drug industry is taking the UK government to court over its attempt to encourage doctors to switch patients to cheaper generic medicines.

    The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has won permission to challenge the legality of the Department of Health's drive to persuade doctors to prescribe generic statins in place of the more costly branded versions.

    The government is determined to cut the £7bn (€5bn; $3.5bn) a year the NHS pays for branded drugs. With nearly two million Britons taking statins to help lower their cholesterol, the Department of Health estimates that at least £84m a year could be saved if doctors prescribed generic statins.

    But a …

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