Health department consults on automatic substitution of generics

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 08 January 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c135
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

    England’s Department of Health has launched a consultation on proposals for automatic generic substitution, in which pharmacists could dispense generic forms of drugs instead of branded versions even if the prescribing doctor or nurse has written a prescription for a brand.

    The consultation report outlines three options. The first is to keep the current arrangements, in which pharmacists are required to dispense exactly what is written on a prescription and cannot substitute a generic version for a brand name drug without prior agreement with the prescriber. The second would allow substitution of generic equivalents but would specify a list of exempt products. The third option, preferred by the health department, would allow generic substitution of a specified group of products.

    Under the third option all prescriptions would be dispensed as written except for …

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