Stephen Whitehead, Chief Executive of the ABPI, said:
"The innovation scorecard is intended to be a transparent tool to enable patients to understand where there is access to NICE approved medicines; however, the current scorecard fails to be the genuine driver for change that it should be. It’s the start, but there is still a long way to go to help patients get better access to medicines.
"Whilst we welcome the inclusion of the new medicines in the scorecard, it is disappointing that there is no benchmarking for the medicines in this report. Usage data alone is only half the story and falls short of providing the information patients need to understand which medicines they have access to.
“We welcome the inclusion of links to published formularies within the scorecard, but again, many of these are not helpful or user-friendly for patients in their current form, with significant differences in the quality of the formulary data provided across Trusts. It also fails to address the important question of whether new NICE approved drugs are included within the mandated 90-day timeframe or whether there is evidence of further restriction of NICE guidance.
"It is still concerning to see such unwarranted regional variation in access and usage of medicines - so in some parts of the country a person can access a medicine, whereas just a few miles away, another person can't. The Government must act quickly and decisively to drive the adoption and diffusion of the newest and most innovative medicines across England so that patients can access the same medicines regardless of where they live.
"We will work closely with the HSCIC and other stakeholders to drive improvements in the scorecard with the ultimate aim of helping more patients in England to access innovative treatments which they are too often denied."
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Notes to Editors
The ABPI has proactively engaged on the development of each update of this scorecard. Following the second scorecard, published earlier this year, the ABPI made a series of recommendations for improvement, several of which have been taken on board.
About the ABPI
The ABPI represents innovative research-based biopharmaceutical companies, large, medium and small, leading an exciting new era of biosciences in the UK.
Our industry, a major contributor to the economy of the UK, brings life-saving and life-enhancing medicines to patients. Our members supply 90 per cent of all medicines used by the NHS, and are researching and developing over two-thirds of the current medicines pipeline, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of helping patients prevent and overcome diseases.
The ABPI is recognised by government as the industry body negotiating on behalf of the branded pharmaceutical industry, for statutory consultation requirements including the pricing scheme for medicines in the UK.