Intended for healthcare professionals


Priadel: Experts urge government to intervene to keep lithium product on market

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 25 September 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m3754
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

Clinicians and patients have urged the UK government to intervene to ensure that Priadel, a brand of lithium widely used to treat bipolar disorder, remains available to patients.

Priadel costs £4.02 (€4.4; $5) for a pack of 400 mg tablets, making it relatively cheap for the NHS. But Essential Pharma, which owns the rights to Priadel, has announced that it is withdrawing the brand in April 2021. At the same time the company has increased the price of the other main brand of the drug, Camcolit, which it also owns, to £48.18 per pack of 400 mg tablets.

In direct drug costs alone it is estimated the change will cost the NHS around £15m a year.

In a letter to England’s health and social care secretary, Matt Hancock, representatives of bodies including the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the Royal College of General Practitioners, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists warned that the move would not only …

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