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Generic substitution: ABPI puts safety first

The ABPI has welcomed the publication of a consultation regarding the introduction of generic substitution in England

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has welcomed the publication of a consultation regarding the introduction of generic substitution in England, giving all stakeholders an opportunity to express their views.

The agency particularly welcomes the essential emphasis given to patient safety in the Department of Health's proposals.

Dr Richard Barker, director general of the ABPI, said: "We welcome the opportunity given to all stakeholders, including industry, the NHS and patient groups, to provide input and comments to the Department of Health (DH) in response to its
consultation on generic substitution." He added: "It is important to ensure that patients' health and safety is not compromised in the implementation of this new policy."

Indeed, patient safety should prevail and prescribers should retain the right to prescribe a particular branded generic. During PPRS discussions, the ABPI had specified the need to ensure exclusion from substitution of certain groups of products based on patient welfare and international best practice, including: modified or sustained release preparations; medicines with a narrow therapeutic index; vaccines; biosimilars; devices and routes of administration; and controlled drugs.

The ABPI also maintains the view that generic substitution should only take place if the dispensed product makes savings for the NHS compared to the prescribed product. The Generic Substitution consultation will run until March 30, 2010 and can be found on the Department of Health website

13th January 2010

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