broken today that the NHS has been severely overcharged by UK pharmacy chains
for manufacturing specially-made topical treatments for people with skin
conditions, such as psoriasis.
reported in The Times today (02/02/2018), payment records show that the NHS was
charged over £1500 for a tub of specially made cream by one high street pharmacy
chain, despite the same mixture regularly costing just £1.73 elsewhere.
Psoriasis-specific examples of this overcharging include coal tar 10% ointment
costing the NHS £274, when it only costs £15.49 to manufacture, and a zinc and
salicylic acid paste that only costs £8.17 to make, yet the NHS is charged over
The Psoriasis Association is
part of a dedicated working group set up by the British Association of Dermatologists,
which aims to raise awareness of the overcharging, and urge the Department of
Health to clamp down on this practice. Dierdre Buckley, Consultant
Dermatologist and Chair of the Specials Working Group said this morning, “For many
dermatology specials the ingredients aren’t expensive and it’s inexplicable why
they cost so much. It’s not right. We have a duty to conserve the resources of
the taxpayer so that the money is used to actually care for patients.”
Psoriasis Association, we feel strongly about this issue. There are people
with psoriasis who rely on these treatments to manage their skin to an
acceptable level, and the inflated cost of special-order medicines has effectively
removed them as a much-needed treatment option. Being unable to obtain a
familiar and reliable treatment brings with it a great deal of anxiety, as well
as the risk of their condition worsening, resulting in further appointments. At
a time when waiting lists for Dermatology services are extremely stretched,
this not only places further burden on the NHS, but also leaves patients trying
to cope with their condition in an impossible situation.
have experienced problems in obtaining an unbranded, special-order topical
treatment for your psoriasis and would be happy to share your experience, please get in touch with us today.