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.