24 Apr 2013 Posted in News Release By Press Office
Pharmaceutical leaders at their annual conference have today called on newly installed decision makers in the NHS to make a break with the past, stop cutting and start investing in innovative life-saving and life-changing medicines. New NHS leaders are being called on to focus on making wholesale changes to providing healthcare that will see people treated much more at home and far less in hospital.
Spending on new medicines, which is set to rise by just 1.3 per cent annually until 2015, is falling in real terms as NHS spend increases by 2.5 per cent a year over the same period.1 Inflation is also highly likely to outstrip spending on new medicines over the next three years.
With new data showing how little is spent in total on medicines in the UK2 compared with developed countries, there are fresh calls for further investment in medicine:
On new medicines launched in the last five years3, the picture is no better:
Stephen Whitehead, Chief Executive of the ABPI, said:
"I want to make a personal plea to the newly appointed leaders of the NHS to make a break with the past and begin wholesale changes to the way people are cared for in the UK. Our healthcare system needs to focus much more on caring for patients in their own homes and much less on treatment in expensive hospitals. Investing in new, innovative medicines will be absolutely key to this, and there will significant rewards if we get this right – improving patient’s quality of life and ensuring the financial sustainability of the NHS.
"The numbers are striking. By 2015, the new medicines which are being launched now will make up just 2 per cent of the entire medicines budget and yet it is these treatments which are able to transform the way many diseases are treated. It is particularly frustrating that we still struggle to get these new medicines to patients when we also consider that the UK has amongst the lowest prices in Europe and the NHS will save over a billion pounds every year until 2015 as medicines lose their patent and are prescribed generically.”
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