Hypromellose Eye Drops
By Alastair Carmichael

This Week’s FAQ is based around Hypromellose Eye Drops and the Drug Tariff

Question: Can you help me please? I valued very much the online webinar on the Drug Tariff, and pass on lots of info at the beginning of the month in my weekly newsletter to the GP partners.  I am looking currently at the prescribing of lubricating eye drops, which is a minefield in itself, as there are so many. 

I wish to limit to one brand in the future. 

The only problem I am having is when looking at Hypromellose 0.3% 10ml, I cannot find a basic price that I think is right.  Is it £1.05 if it’s not a brand?  I am looking at eye drops in a scheme, but their Hypromellose seems expensive even with discount, but would be okay if we prescribed the brand?

I am just checking what we will be paid back.

Answer: Regarding your Hypromellose query – 0.3% drops – these are currently listed as a licensed medicine by generic name in Part 8A of the Tariff with a price of £1.05 per 10ml.

Therefore, if written generically as that, you will be reimbursed £1.05 regardless of the purchase price or brand given.

This Drug Tariff Part 8A price is based against Martindale’s price.

Most of the prices from other generic deals should be there or thereabouts, but unlikely to influence whether you go with one deal or another – unless you use masses of Hypromellose?

Prescribing can be done cheaper using one of the listed “Appliances” in Part 9A of the Drug tariff  – yes it is dual listed to allow for the cheaper brands to be prescribed by name – for example:

Lumecare Tear Drops = 80p

Teardew = 99p

And you may be able to get extra discount on these but unlikely since these are classed as branded generics by wholesalers and thus with no extra discount.

Personally, I would not worry about the low-priced lower turnover items – look at your Amlodipine, Lansoprazole, Omeprazole, Ramipril etc – saving an extra 10% plus on these lines will make the difference. And look at the whole basket of your purchases – you will lose out on some lines but gain on others – you can exclude some lines to block orders if need be.