To ask the Secretary of State for Health
(1) what recent discussions he has had with patient representative groups about generic drug substitution;
(2) if he will take steps to prevent pharmacists from automatically substituting prescribed drugs with their generic equivalents until the proposed generic substitution scheme has been introduced.
We have received representations from a number of patient representative groups about our proposals to implement generic substitution in England but have not met with any in advance of the formal consultation, due very shortly.
Currently, pharmacists are not able to dispense a generic product where a branded product has been prescribed and this will remain the position until the generic substitution arrangements are introduced.