In response to your article, “Famous-name medicine 725 per cent more expensive” (21 August), our research shows that people like and trust brands and want to have a range of different products to choose from.
Over-the-counter medicine manufacturers have high manufacturing standards and invest heavily in bringing new and innovative products to the market, which either work better or were previously only available on prescription. Once new medicines have been developed, other companies are free to make their own versions, and as they don’t bear the original development costs they can sell it at a lower price. Even if products do have the same active ingredient, they may be formulated in different ways to provide different benefits.
For example, migraine sufferers might want to choose a medicine which is faster acting, as speed of treatment is very relevant for this condition.
Back pain tends to be longer lasting and therefore best suited to a product which is specifically designed to slowly release the active ingredient.
Ensuring there is a wide range of medicines on the market, with different benefits and at different prices, gives people choice and enables them to decide what product is right for them and for their particular symptoms. We would advise anyone who is concerned about the medicines they are taking to speak to their pharmacist who will be able to give them expert advice and support.
PAGB (Proprietary Association of Great Britain)