"Over the past year, the price of generic buprenorphine has fluctuated significantly and Public Health England (PHE) has attributed this to market forces. PHE has also confirmed that a return to the lower market price baseline we are used to in the substance misuse treatment sector is unlikely. This price rise means that prescribing costs will go up by about 200% to 300% across the organisation.
"This price rise is another blow to a sector which has faced cut after cut to funding. That the sector has very little financial resilience left has been proved by the collapse of Lifeline and the ongoing merger and consolidation activity in the substance misuse treatment field. With Brexit talks ongoing it is unlikely substance misuse services will be high on the government’s agenda.
"Hard choices need to be made by organisations in the substance misuse treatment sector.
"The impact of the price rise of buprenorphine on WDP’s budget is significant but WDP continues to be financially robust and well run.
"WDP is philosophically committed to not reducing patient choice or falsely time limiting treatment, so we will continue to prescribe medications which are the best fit for good patient outcomes. We will also actively promote recovery as we have always done.
"WDP will continue to embed efficiency and innovation to drive continued cost reductions to protect the most vulnerable people in our society who are our patients from the effects of reduced funding and resources. We will also work with the government and other organisations to highlight the effect of reduced resources on our patient group and to seek additional resources.”
Yasmin Batliwala, Chair of WDP