Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Category M sees 10% price increase

According to Tariff Watch, produced by the Medicines Management Network - North West the prices of Category M drugs were increased by 10% in April.

The author of Tariff Watch, Andrew Martin from Bury PCT, estimates that this could mean an additional 2% in expenditure on the entire drug budget if these prices remain unchanged for the year.

Category M was introduced by the Department of Health in April 2005 as part of the Pharmacy Contract. The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has produced a summary explaining the key points of the system.

Category M products are available as generics and are quite often the drug of choice within a particular class based upon lower acquisition costs.

Action: Clinicians should ensure that Category M drugs are used wherever possible to offset this potential increase in drugs expenditure. Where possible, the process for setting Prescribing Budgets should take into account changes in Category M price where possible.

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