Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Getting better value from the NHS drug budget

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 17 December 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6449

Rapid Response:

Re:Reflections of an expensive GP prescriber.

There are huge savings that can be made from modifying prescribing in the NHS.

Moon et al are quite correct in saying that delays may reduce the potential cost-saving, since the price of medicines moving from a brand to generic can fall dramatically. Close monitoring is consequently required.

This may be exemplified by the example of cost saving made in the paper in respect to proton pump inhibitors.
I am afraid the authors have also missed the boat here as the price in the Drug Tariff- a summary of the prices paid in primary care by the NHS for medicines- shows that contrary to the example given, pantoprazole is actually priced lower than omeprazole and has been so for the last few months.

The pharmaceutical market is a very dynamic one reflecting a variety of market forces.

Jeremy Phipps

Competing interests: I am a dispensing GP

13 January 2011
Jeremy S K Phipps
GP Principal
The Deepings Practice, Market Deeping, Lincolshire