NHS spending: savings can be made on branded drugs

Photo by Petr Kratochvil / Filed under CC0 Public Domain

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Birmingham are spending a lot more on branded drugs where they could possibly prescribe cheaper alternatives.

This is according to OpenPrescribing’s data on Sandwell and West Biringham CCG, Birmingham South Central CCG, and Birmingham CrossCity CCG.

The data suggests that the CCGs could have made possible savings of £430,000 on high-cost drugs in the last 6 months. If these CCGs had followed the best prescribing policies, they could have saved £600,000 on such prescriptions.

OpenPrescribing also suggests that generic drugs are not only significantly cheaper but also equally effective as compared to the expensive branded ones.

How else can the NHS make savings on drugs?

A local nurse who works with the NHS who wishes to be anonymous explains the need for doctors to discontinue medicines a patient does not need anymore, apart from ensuring that they do not repeat prescriptions.

She suggests that the NHS must have checks in place to see whether patients are in fact using the medications or not. She says, “I have worked with many overseas nurses and found that they are always shocked to see so much drug waste in the U.K.”

We have contacted Birmingham’s CCGs and asked for a response, but there has been no reply yet.

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