The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has responded to the consultation by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and NHS England on evaluating and funding drugs and other health technologies.
The recommendations from NICE and NHS England set out a number of proposals which will have a significant impact on how NHS patients will get new medicines.
Billed as 'Patients to get faster access to the most cost effective treatments under proposed changes to NICE's process' by NICE and NHS England, the ABPI believes that the proposals in their current form will have a detrimental impact on patient care for patients with rare diseases and may create further delays in accessing medicines for a large number of NHS patients. The ABPI sets out its recommendations for a measured approach, commensurate with the issues which need to be tackled.
Speaking about the consultation proposals, Mike Thompson, Chief Executive at the ABPI, said:
"The ABPI agrees with the NHS England's objective of developing a workable solution for managing the introduction of new medicines which are likely to create significantly high costs to the NHS.
However, given that all new drugs approved by Nice have already gone through a process to ensure they are cost-effective and clinically beneficial, the proposal to impose a £20million budget cap on these medicines is both heavy-handed and unrealistic and will mean more patients face delays in accessing appropriate NHS care. Better long term planning by the health service would ensure that major breakthroughs are managed into the NHS in an appropriate and affordable way and with less disruption.
We support the plan to fast-track medicines with an estimated budget impact of less than £10,000 per quality year of life which see patients benefitting from these innovations much faster.
While the ABPI supports a rigorous assessment of value for money of all new drugs we have serious concerns that implementing an arbitrary £100k cost per QALY for treatments for the rarest diseases – often affecting just a handful of people. We believe that this will have a detrimental impact on the development of new products for those who desperately need them and that this proposal should be paused while a better solution is identified."
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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. We represent companies who supply more than 80 per cent of all branded medicines used by the NHS and who are researching and developing the majority of the current medicines pipeline, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of helping patients prevent and overcome disease.
Globally our industry is researching and developing more than 7,000 new medicines.
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.