In response to today's article in the Independent on medicines pricing, the ABPI has issued the following statement.


The pharmaceutical industry continues to create medicines which transform and save the lives of people across the world.

We strongly deny any accusations of profiteering aimed at the pharmaceutical industry. In fact, the profits companies make in the UK are capped by Government under the current pharmaceutical pricing scheme. Medicine prices in the UK are already amongst the lowest in Europe, and the proportion of the NHS budget spent on new medicines is set to fall, not rise, in real terms over the coming years.

Pharmaceutical companies can only create medicines if the £1.15bn research and development cost of bringing a new product to market can be recovered by the profits generated during the period of patent protection. When a company sells its medicine, it also needs to take into account the highly risky development process. Just one in every 5,000 molecules screened ever becomes a treatment and of those medicines that reach the market just one in five actually go on to recoup its costs.

Without reasonable profits the pharmaceutical industry would be unable to invest in further research and development as we bid to find new treatments for disease.

It is also important to note that once a medicine’s patent has expired, the NHS can prescribe it at a fraction of the original price – this is a process that we welcome and which saves the healthcare system hundreds of millions of pounds every year.

Media enquiries

ABPI Press Office
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7747 1410
Mobile: +44 (0) 7850 312064 

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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