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Eye Drops: Prescriptions

Question for Department of Health

UIN 64698, tabled on 21 February 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the cost to the public purse has been of an individual prescription of Fucithalmic viscous eye drops in each of the last five years.

Answered on

1 March 2017

Information on the Net Ingredient Cost (NIC), number of prescription items and NIC per prescription item is provided below. NIC is the basic cost of a drug, and does not take account of discounts, dispensing fees or prescription charges income.

Fucithalmic is the branded version of the drug fusidic acid. Information is provided for fusidic acid viscous eye drops 1%, and is shown for the brand Fucithalmic and the non-branded fusidic acid.

The brand was discontinued in August 2014 according to information in the Dictionary of Medicines and Devices and replaced by a generic version.

NIC, number of prescription items and NIC per item for branded, non-branded and total fusidic acid eye drops 1%, written in the United Kingdom and dispensed in the community in England for years 2011 to 2015.

Fucithalmic Viscous Eye Drops 1%

Fusidic Acid Viscous Eye Drops 1%

Total

Year

NIC (£000s)

Items (000s)

NIC per item (£)

NIC (£000s)

Items (000s)

NIC per item (£)

NIC (£000s)

Items (000s)

NIC per item (£)

2011

1,186.3

556.1

2.13

1,186.3

556.1

2.13

2012

1,252.1

586.1

2.14

1,252.1

586.1

2.14

2013

1,316.8

561.9

2.34

1,316.8

561.9

2.34

2014

738.2

256.6

2.88

886.2

148.8

5.96

1,624.4

405.4

4.01

2015

57.1

19.3

2.95

6,016.5

313.4

19.20

6,073.5

332.8

18.25

Source: Prescription Cost Analysis provided by NHS Digital.

The Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill will strengthen the Secretary of State’s existing powers to control the cost of unbranded generic medicines by enabling the Secretary of State to set the price of a medicine when the manufacturer is in the voluntary pricing scheme but the medicine is not covered by that scheme. The Bill will also provide a statutory footing for current voluntary arrangements to obtain information on more products and from more companies, which will inform reimbursement arrangements for community pharmacies.

The Competition and Markets Authority has a number of live investigations into potential excessive prices of unbranded generic medicines.

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care