There has been an uplift in Category M prices starting in December. Normally Category M prices are
adjusted every Quarter. This increase reflects the balancing mechanism used to ensure that Pharmacy
remains within their £800 million per annum profit. The uplift is an indicator of ICB Medicines
Management teams insisting on practices prescribing certain brands (which make pharmacy a loss,
but bring some short term gain to the ICB).
If Pharmacy does not reach the £800 million profit target, then the NHS pours more money into
Category M, thus costing the NHS more overall.
There are now 670 products which are Category M. On average the increase is 21 pence per product.
The average percentage increase is 3.76%. Whilst the increase in Category M prices is very welcome for
Dispensing Doctors, unfortunately there are still over 150 generics which will be dispensed at a loss,
and this increases to over 300 generics, when you take the Discount clawback into account.
See our article on how to minimise dispensing generics at a loss. Also check out which
Generics currently cost more than the tariff price.