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Generic drugs can be dramatically cheaper than brand name drugs - BNF and MIMS give price information.
Brand name manufacturers require adequate profit to invest in new products but such issues as patent life and pricing should be for the drug companies to settle with central government, not for individual doctors when prescribing.
It is, however, important for the doctor to be aware of issues such as production quality and bioavailability of drugs with narrow therapeutic ranges.
Retail chemists often increase their profits by parallel importing of brand name drugs. Patient leaflets in Greek or blister packs with the days of the week Lun Mar Mer Jeu etc cost GP's a lot of explaining time.