Premium-Priced Generics - Ghost Generics

Clinicians are encouraged to prescribe medicines by their generic name where possible and clinically appropriate. However, practice IT systems list not only the generic name but also offer alternatives where the generic name is followed by the manufacturer e.g., Amlodipine 10mg tabs TEVA. This is known as Premium Priced or “Ghost Generic”

If the generic option stating the manufacturer is selected this product must be dispensed and the item is treated by NHSBSA as a “brand”; the price reimbursed is not the Drug Tariff price for that item but the manufacturer’s list price which can be significantly higher than the category A or M Drug Tariff price paid for the generic product.

For example;

30 x Solifenacin 10mg tablets £1.74

30 x Solifenacin 10mg tablets (Crescent Pharma Ltd) £26.88

28 x Amiloride 5mg tablets £25.18 28 x Amiloride 5mg tablets (AAH Pharmaceuticals Ltd) £46.44

So why is this a priority?

  • Ghost Generics are classed as a national priority as these products cost more than generic prescribing with no clinical justification.
  • Lincolnshire practices vary in prescribing of ghost generics. We would like to reduce this variation in prescribing practice.
  • The consequences of not acting to improve these measures will see Lincolnshire continue to financially spend on items that are not cost effective for the system.


Lincolnshire ICB does not support the use of these items unless there is clinical justification. Reducing inappropriate prescribing of ghost generics is a Lincolnshire priority.

While many practices have worked to review and reduce their use of Premium/Ghost Generics over the last couple of years, Lincolnshire ICB remains one of the highest prescriber nationally. We would therefore like to ask prescribers to work with us to reduce the use of these medicines by switching patients on to “normal” generics where appropriate.  

View the Lincolnshire ICB Position Statement on the use of Ghost Generics here.