In its response to the Government's consultation on value-based pricing, the ABPI highlighted that the key issue to consider is how to ensure the value from new medicines reaches patients and the NHS.
ABPI President, Simon Jose, said:
"To improve outcomes for patient and release the value delivered by new medicines we need to work together to co-create a new pricing system that gives commissioners and healthcare professionals confidence that prescribing a new medicine is a good use of scarce NHS resources. Following agreement of a value-based price it will be in everyone's interests to ensure that further re-evaluation do not take place locally in the NHS which would slow down the process for the right medicines to reach the right patients."
The ABPI strongly supports the principle for value to reflect the level of innovation and be based on wider issues, especially those aspects that matter most to patients including, reducing the burden of disease, enabling people to return to work, limiting the amount of time they have to spend in hospital or reducing medicine side effects.
The ABPI wants the role of research and development to be fully reflected in the future system with recognition that medical breakthrough is rare and often the result of step-by-step innovation. This progressive innovation can dramatically improve patients' lives, but its cumulative value only becomes apparent after some time.
ABPI Director General Richard Barker said:
"Investment in the right medicines is an investment in people's health and quality of life. Getting the design of this new system right is not just an issue for industry and the NHS, it is vital for patients too. Medical advances, breakthrough or step-by-step, benefit a patient's family, carers and wider society."
Key points in the ABPI's consultation response include:
Value-based pricing must be integrated with an evolved Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS) for existing products. An integrated and consistent negotiation process between Government and industry is central to achieving this;
If access to medicines is to improve, the NHS needs to play a key role and ensure that value-proven medicines are used by clinicians for their patients. Value-based pricing alone won't solve broader issues of access and uptake;
The NHS Commissioning Board should be involved in the development of proposals for value-based pricing to secure medicines access and uptake, with relevant input and agreement from the devolved nations;
National Voices Chief Executive Jeremy Taylor welcomed the Government's objective of creating a system that is more focussed on meeting unmet medical need but said there was still a long way to go in the policy development process.
Mr Taylor said:
"Our concern is how it will work in practice, and how patient and lay voices will be heard in the decision-making processes. We need more clarity and are keen to work with the Government and industry to ensure the future system has no unintended side effects."
The ABPI believes there is a significant opportunity for the Government and the pharmaceutical industry to work together to create a new pricing system and shares the view that there's a great deal more thinking to be done to ensure the new system meets its objectives. The ABPI also is very aware that organisational changes to the NHS combined with budgetary and fiscal constraints will present further challenges as well as opportunities for medicines access and uptake.
Notes to editors
The Government launched its consultation on value-based pricing on 16 December 2010. The consultation closes on 17 March 2011.
The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) is the trade association for the UK research-based pharmaceutical industry, representing companies both small and large. Our member companies research, develop, manufacture and supply more than 80 per cent of the medicines prescribed through the National Health Service (NHS). For further information visit: www.abpi.org.uk
National Voices is the coalition of national health and social care organisations that ensures a strong voice for all those who come into contact with the NHS and care services, and for the voluntary organisations that work for them. Our broad membership, rooted in people's experience, represents millions of people, and covers a diverse range of health conditions and communities. For further information visit: www.nationalvoices.org.uk
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