• Press Office

    Posted in category ABPI statement by Press Office on 21/03/2013

    ABPI statement on Government’s response to Health Select Committee’s report on future role of NICE

Commenting on the Government’s response to the Health Select Committee’s report on the future role of NICE and value-based pricing, Stephen Whitehead, Chief Executive of the ABPI said: “The Government’s wide-ranging response to the Health Select Committee’s report makes a number of important points on the future role of NICE."


Stephen added:

“The ABPI works hard to improve access and uptake of new medicines across the NHS, so that patients are able to get the right medicines at the right time.  We welcome the Government’s commitment to exploring ways in which new patients can continue to benefit from innovative medicines; continuing the work which has been so valuable in giving many patients access to medicines through the Cancer Drugs Fund.

“We have always been clear that NICE will have a role to play in conducting the health economic part of value-based pricing. What will determine whether value-based pricing works for the pharmaceutical industry, the NHS and most importantly patients is not who does the assessment, but how it is done and what goes into it. This has yet to be determined and we are working hard to secure a policy which will deliver for patients in the future.

“We must, however, be aware that today UK patients are denied access to medicines that are routinely available in other countries. We have among the lowest usage of innovative medicines compared to other comparable countries and this is despite us having among the lowest prices of medicines in Europe. The future system needs to ensure that a brighter future awaits UK patients, and is compatible with the UK Life Sciences Strategy which aims to ensure the pharmaceutical industry can continue to be an engine for growth in the UK.

“NICE has an important role in supporting growth, which is often overlooked. NICE needs to be an enabler of innovation by the NHS and this is lacking from the Government’s response. The measures adopted through 'Innovation, health and wealth' such as the requirements on the NHS to include NICE-approved medicines in formularies and the NICE Implementation Collaborative are welcome. In addition, the Innovation Scorecard will provide evidence from across the NHS of those trusts which are doing well in giving their patients access to new treatments and those areas of the country where there is room for improvement. 

“However, we urge the Government to keep its foot on the pedal in spreading innovation through the NHS and ensuring that NICE helps to deliver its part of the growth agenda. No patient should be denied access to the best treatment because their trust is slow to innovate, compared to its neighbour, and NICE has an important role in this.

“We are also pleased that our concerted drive to ensure transparency is acknowledged in the Government’s response. There has been full and open debate in the UK about the publication of clinical trial data and the ABPI has taken a proactive lead in this agenda.”

Media enquiries

ABPI Press Office
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7747 1410
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Notes to editors

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.

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