Stephen Whitehead, Chief Executive of the ABPI, said:
"The Department of Health has issued a public consultation on a future statutory scheme for the pricing of branded medicines. The statutory scheme applies to 10 per cent of the branded medicines used in the UK. The need for an on-going statutory scheme was confirmed in a Joint Statement issued by the Department of Health and the ABPI in August 2012 and there has been a public consultation on this scheme on previous occasions. The scheme applies to any company which chooses not to join the negotiated voluntary pricing agreement.
"The medicines used in the UK by the NHS, already provide good value for money. The price of our medicines are amongst the lowest in Europe and the Department of Health’s own research confirms this in their PPRS Report to Parliament, which was published last year. Compared with our European counterparts, we continue to struggle at getting the latest and most innovative medicines to patients. In fact, spending on medicines as a proportion of the entire NHS budget has fallen from 12.5 per cent in 1999 to 9.6 per cent in 2011 – the most recently available data. Our medicines are an essential element of the healthcare system which save lives and keep people healthier, for longer and helps reduce the need for expensive hospital care.
"The ABPI welcomes the announcement that NICE will in future apply a broader definition of value in its appraisals of new medicines building further on existing arrangements. We understand that NICE will now consider in more detail how to implement its additional terms of reference, and look forward to working with them on the next steps since much of the detail is still to be agreed about how the process will work in practice.
"Negotiations for a new voluntary, negotiated agreement are on-going and remain confidential."
ABPI Press Office
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7747 1410 or +44 (0) 20 7747 1441
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Notes to Editor
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.