Alison Clough, Acting CEO of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), said: “We were very surprised and disappointed to hear David Cameron’s comments today which don’t recognise the positive contribution the UK pharmaceutical industry makes to the economy, to patients, to Government and to the NHS.
"The role of the Cancer Drugs Fund is to fund medicines that have been rejected or not approved by NICE because it was recognised that the UK was lagging behind other comparable countries in cancer outcomes and access to new cancer medicines. This is despite the UK having prices below the European average. It was not set up to bring down prices but to ensure that patients had improved access to these new medicines.
"The price and profit control mechanism in the UK is the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS). Through this five-year scheme industry will be paying back nearly £1billion this year to the Department of Health to support the use of branded medicines by the NHS.
"Furthermore, over the life of the current scheme, the pharmaceutical industry is expected to make payments of around £4billion back to the Government. This scheme was agreed to by industry to ensure that in the tough financial climate in the NHS, patients could access the medicines their doctors believe they need.
"The Cancer Drugs Fund was always meant to be a temporary measure whilst a sustainable solution was put in place. We urge Government, the NHS and NICE to seize the opportunity of the PPRS and transform the way specialised medicines, including cancer medicines, are value assessed so that UK patients don't lose out."