I (an EU citizen) am trying to decide whether to accept an anticipated job offer from a company in England. One of the issues to resolve is whether the particular medication I take for diabetes will be available there. It's somewhat expensive at list prices but in my current location I'm getting most of it covered by public subsidies.

Is there a general way to research whether particular medicines are marketed or NHS approved in the UK, and what they would cost me at the pharmacy counter? (Assuming of course, that a GP in England will prescribe it to me).

(For full specificity, what I'm looking for in particular is liraglutide and insulin degludec, but I'm imagining that a link to a general resource would be more useful for other askers.)


2 Answers 2


The British National Formulary (https://www.bnf.org) lists all medication prescribable in the U.K.

Not all of this is available on the NHS - individual entries indicate drugs which are not available on the NHS.

Assuming you become resident in the U.K., for drugs available on the NHS they will either be free, or incur a standard fee (currently £8.60 per item) depending on your personal circumstances. Generally NHS GPs will issue prescription for a month - so you can look on it as a monthly fee. There are schemes to reduce that cost.

For drugs not covered by the health service you’ll need to obtain a private prescription from a doctor (for which they can charge what they like), and then have that filled at a pharmacy which will charge you what they like for the drug, plus a dispensing fee.

  • That sounds like it would be exactly the kind of resource I was hoping for. Unfortunately it seems to be heavily paywalled -- £199.00 for an "individual anual subscription". Or am I doing something wrong? Dec 10, 2017 at 23:36
  • This page: medicinescomplete.com/about/nhs.htm implies that a free non-commercial licence is available. I’ve never used it - I get access through my employer. There’s also an iPhone app available - though possibly only in the U.K.
    – rhialto
    Dec 10, 2017 at 23:39
  • Hmmyes, it does appear to imply that -- but the form actually doesn't do anything for me (it just reloads itself when I press "Proceed", without any indication of what it doesn't like). Thanks for trying, though, and the information in your last two paragraphs looks independently valuable. Dec 10, 2017 at 23:59

You may find liraglutide is only available if you meet some conditions or criteria around weight loss attempts. Information is at National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, which will have similar details for degludec https://www.nice.org.uk/advice/es14/chapter/Key-points

Ultimately, your general practitioner in the UK will make a decision. Ensure you arrive with a few weeks supply as it can take time to register with a doctor and get an appointment.

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