Are generics cheaper in England than the three devolved nations?

Dec 6, 2023 | General

WaveData’s MD, Charles Joynson looks at generic products sold in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, in August, September and October of this year, focusing in on the top 500 most commonly advertised products. We only included products which were available in all four nations for consistency.

The average selling prices were analysed, and an average produced by country. This shows that contrary to good sense, England is actually the most expensive. Because of the cost of transport we expected prices to rise the further we got from Dover. However, the opposite seems to be the case.

In Scotland, the average price for the 500 generics was £2.35, whereas at the opposite end of the scale England’s average price for the 500 generics was £3.93

We have seen this before and it can be quite difficult to explain, we could put the price variation down to the Scots canny buying ability, but most likely there is some product variation hidden in the data, so that more complex diseases are treated in England than in the other three nations.

The data used in this analysis came from WaveData’s British Pharma Pricing Index which includes wholesaler selling and pharmacy buying prices from the last 10 years.

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