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Cost effective medicines

People in Norfolk and Waveney are being urged to support “cost effective medicine prescribing” and help to save the NHS money.

The call comes as part of the ongoing ‘Your Medicines, Your NHS’ campaign, which aims to reduce the £4.7m* cost of medicine wasted in Norfolk and Waveney each year.

The final phase concentrates on using generic medicines wherever appropriate, as opposed to branded products which can be up to 80% more expensive. Using the strapline “cost effective medicine”, health bosses hope to raise awareness that on occasions, GPs may prescribe non-branded medicines (generic), which do exactly the same job and have been tested to the same rigorous standards as the well-known branded versions. Savings on generic medicines can then be reinvested into health services elsewhere.

The campaign has been organised by Norfolk and Waveney’s five clinical commissioning groups – Great Yarmouth and Waveney, North Norfolk, West Norfolk, Norwich and South Norfolk – which together spent £167m on 23 million prescription items between March 2015 and 2016.

Michael Dennis, Head of Medicines Optimisation with NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG, said: “The final phase of our medicines campaign asks people to support cost effective prescribing by understanding and accepting that generic non-branded medicines may be prescribed to them when appropriate, and that this will help save the NHS money which can then be spent on other treatments.

“These medicines do the same job as their more expensive counterparts, and have been rigorously tested to make sure they meet the same high safety standards.

“Doing your bit is simple, so please help your NHS to cut back on unnecessary expense so that it can make the best use of its resources for the benefit of everyone in Norfolk and Waveney.”

Prescribing generic medicines has saved the NHS £7.1 billion since 1976 and allowed more than 490 million more items to be prescribed without an increase in total spending**. Currently, nearly eight out of 10 prescriptions in the UK are for generic drugs.

Ian Small, Head of Medicines Management for the Norfolk CCGs, said: “We hope that people will take on board this important message and help us to save the NHS money by supporting the use of cost effective medicines whenever they can.”

To find out more about the campaign, visit and click on the links from the homepage. Alternatively, you can follow the campaign on Twitter @YourMED_YourNHS and use the hashtags #costeffectivemedicine and #yourmedicines.


Note to editors:

* This figure is based on Department of Health figures for the whole of the UK. This excludes the costs of prescribing medicine which could be bought cheaply over the counter and the unnecessary costs of prescribing branded medicines over non-branded.

** This figure comes from the King’s Fund.

published on 22/02/2017

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