How long does it take new generic launches to be added to Category M of the drug tariff?

Jul 10, 2024 | Branded Generics, Brands, Devices, General, Generics, UK Brands, WaveData News, WaveData Updates

Twice before WaveData to have looked into this subject only to find there is no link between product value and the delay in the introduction of Category M.

However, time moves on, so we thought we’d repeat the analysis, partly because of a recent client request, and partly because we wanted to know if things had changed. We were able to include about 150 different products for which we had both the launch and the Category M introduction date, and had a prescription value when the Category M introduction took place.

The resulting graph shows that there is no easily discerning relationship between the delay and the value of the generic product. This more or less confirms our opinion that the department of health choose to introduce products to Category M when they need to increase or decrease the £800 million per annum they have promised to pharmacies.

This may mean that they delay for a relatively long period before putting high value products into Category M (ie Tamsulosin MR Caps 400mcg 30 – 182 months delay and value £22,733,996), or add a low value product as soon as it launched (ie  Febuxostat Tabs 80mg 28 – 2 month delay and value £631,596).

The commonly held opinion is that high value products are added to Category M very soon after launch, but low value generics can take years.

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