Why Prescribe Category C by Brand?

Why Prescribe Category C Medicines by Brand?

Category C of the drug tariff contains medicines which are not readily available as other generic medicines, as they are typically modified release formulations.

When writing generic prescriptions, Category C medicines are reimbursed at the price of the originator brand.

Qdem’s Category C products are priced substantially lower than the originator brand, therefore for the NHS to realise the saving offered the prescription needs to be written by brand.1

An example of how prescribing Longtec® 10mg (oxycodone MR 10mg) tablets by brand can deliver drug cost savings to the NHS.

Why Prescribe Category C Medicines by Brand

Another Reason to Prescribe by Brand?
Guidance produced by the Specialist Pharmacy Service titled ‘Which medicines should be considered for brand-name prescribing in primary care?’ recommends buprenorphine patches and oxycodone oral MR preparations should be prescribed by brand to reduce confusion and errors in dispensing.3

Health Profes - Category C Page


  1. NHS Business Services Authority. Drug Tariff. [Accessed April 2021] http://www.drugtariff.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/#/00320999-DC_1/DC00320904/Part VIIIA products O
  2. MIMS online [Accessed April 2021] http://www.mims.co.uk
  3. Specialist Pharmacy Service Which medicines should be considered for brand-name prescribing in primary care (Accessed April 2021) https://www.sps.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/UKMi_QA_Brand-name_prescribing_Update_Nov2017.pdf

Date of preparation April 2021 UK-PAIN-2100005