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 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 from the Care Quality Commission co-developed with NHS England, titled ‘Safer Use of Controlled Drugs – Preventing Harm from Oral Oxycodone Medicines’ recommends that where possible prescribe by brand to reduce confusion’.3

Health Profes - Category C Page


  1. NHS Business Services Authority. Drug Tariff. [Accessed July 2020] http://www.drugtariff.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/#/00320999-DC_1/DC00320904/Part VIIIA products O
  2. MIMS online [Accessed July 2020] http://www.mims.co.uk
  3. Care Quality Commission. Safer Use of Controlled Drugs- Preventing Harm From Oral Oxycodone Medicines. [Accessed July 2020] https://www.surreyandsussex.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/CQC-Safer-use-of-Controlled-Drugs-Preventing-harm-from-Oral-Oxycodone-preparations.pdf

Date of preparation August 2020 UK/QDEM-15011(5)j(2)