Buying Atomoxetine (Strattera) For Private Patients (UK)

A blog post written by Justin Hellings

# You can buy atomoxetine more cheaply than you think

## What is Atomoxetine?

Atomoxetine is a non-stimulant medication that is used to treat ADHD. It is less common than stimulant medication (like elvanse and concerta) because stimulants work well for the majority of people who have ADHD.

## I get atomoxetine through the NHS. Will this blog post help me?

No.

This blog post is probably only useful for people who have private prescriptions for atomoxetine.

## Why would anyone get ADHD medication on private prescription?

Waiting lists for free ADHD assessment on the NHS are huge. A freedom of information request about Manchester's ADHD service showed an average waiting time of 3 years. (If I can find that again then I’ll add a link.) If you have enough time and energy (or an advocate who does) then you can use the <a href=”/?p=520”>Right to Choose</a> system to get assessed and treated on the NHS much more quickly. If you hadn't heard of Right to Choose, or if your GP wouldn’t cooperate, then you might have decided that it was a good idea to pay the high cost of private treatment. Private treatment means paying for private prescriptions (at least until your medication regime is stable and your GP can take over.)

## I get atomoxetine on private prescription. How can I pay less?

I contacted a lot of pharmacies to find out how much they would charge me for my atomoxetine prescription. Most of them charge between £60.00 and £72.50 for a box of 28 capsules. The sixth pharmacy I contacted (see below) said they would charge me £6.25 and that's what they did. I am paying less than 10% of what I was paying before.

## Why the hell would there be a 10 times difference in price between pharmacies?

Until recently, atomoxetine was under patent and only sold under the brand name Strattera. Since then, the patent has expired and atomoxetine is now made by many companies.

The NHS is by far the biggest purchaser of medicines in the UK. They use this powerful position to negotiate the lowest prices they can for medicines. The current NHS price for atomoxetine (about £50 for 28 capsules) is far higher than the real cost. I assume the NHS price was negotiated a while ago and that they could easily renegotiate for a lower price now. This will only be cost-effective for the NHS if they are buying enough atomoxetine to justify spending money on renegotiating prices.

The price that most pharmacies are charging private customers for atomoxetine looks like it is based on the NHS price (plus some profit.) The computer systems that the pharmacies use seem to do this automatically. Even the pharmacy that I pay £6.25 to, shows a price of £60.30 on the label they print out.

## Who should I buy atomoxetine from then?

I've been told that supermarket pharmacies (including Morrisons and maybe others) charge much less for atomoxetine than other pharmacies.

If you live in Manchester or Trafford then you might be able to buy atomoxetine from the same pharmacy as me:

C&T Pharmacy, Great Stone Road, Stretford, Manchester, M32 8GR

About admin

admin, Dave, David, planetdave, le grande fromage (LGF) - it's all me. I was diagnosed with ADHD in 2006 and usually take medication. My path to diagnosis was so painful that I swore I'd do whatever I could to make things better for other ADHDers.
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