Charles Joynson, WaveData MD, investigates the long term UK Market Price Trend of Gentamicin Ear / Eye Drops 0.3% 10ml
Until May 2021 this Category C product had stable pricing and very little profit potential. The average market price between July 2013 and April 2021 was £2.08 and the tariff £2.39, giving pharmacies £0.31, and manufacturers and wholesalers even less. In May 2021 prices rose substantially and since then the average tariff has been £24.10 and the average market price £12.30, leaving a healthy profit of £11.80 for pharmacies and the rest of the supply chain.
Between 2013 and 2021 the number of wholesalers stocking this product rose from 7 to 20. However, this has now fallen back to just 12 despite the increased profit potential. Equally the number of manufacturers has been erratic with just one supplying pharmacies consistently since 2016.
This suggests more complex problems for this product and looking at NHS prescribing information for England in our Scriptmap service shows that the quantity prescribed each month has fallen from over 4,000 ten years ago to about 2,500 in 2023. This may relate to NICE warnings to avoid long term usage, but whatever the cause manufacturers seem reluctant to take risks on this declining product.