Superdrug is to dispense privately prescribed drugs with no mark-up on the cost of the medicine, it announced today.

The high street pharmacy has called on all pharmacies to follow suit on the estimated five million private prescriptions issued each year (see the Cheap Prescriptions & Medicines guide).

The move means consumers will make a typical saving of £4.70 on a prescription of four Viagra 100mg, down from £28.20 to £23.50, £17.88 on an 84-tablet course of Propecia hair loss treatment, and a third of the cost of the contraceptive Yasmin, down from £47.75 to £31.63.

Superdrug superintendent pharmacist Martin Crisp says: "In the past, privately prescribed medicines have been priced as though any other product. However, we believe medicines prescribed by a doctor, whether private or on the NHS, should be treated in the same way.

"We are changing our system to be more transparent. There are hundreds of thousands of private prescriptions issued every year and if everyone joined us and changed the way private prescriptions are priced this could save Britons tens of millions every year."

The new pricing will be available in Superdrug stores immediately.

It will apply to all products dispensed under a private prescription, including IVF and cancer drugs, anti-malarials and antibiotics.

Crisp adds: "We believe a prescription shows a real need regardless of how or where it was prescribed.

"Whether the prescription is for a medicine to improve health or quality of life we're delighted to make a stand and hope that we can make a real change to the way prescriptions are dispensed in the UK."

Further reading/Key links

Cut costs: Cheap Prescriptions & Medicines