In recent years branded generics, which are branded versions of off-patent medicines other than the originator, have been included in the VPAS Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing. This has meant that the manufacturers of branded generics have had to return a rebate to the NHS. This rebate is expected to rise to between 23% and 30% in 2023, and the BGMA have been very vocal on its potential negative impact.
The prices that both generic manufacturers and wholesalers charge their chemist and dispensing doctor customers are often the same for the true generic and its branded generic equivalent. Often price lists include them on the same line with a single price. However, there are differences in the pricing of the two types of products, as a few wholesalers list them separately.
We looked at the 95 branded generic products and the prices offered by generic manufacturers and full line wholesalers. We found that the majority of these products (90%) were offered at prices below the drug tariff. The reminder were either offered with no discount (3%) or were priced above the drug tariff (7%).
This means that whatever the percentage rebate back to the NHS in 2023, the majority of branded generics will be discounted to levels well below drug tariff.