Drug Purchasing

Health written question – answered on 18th November 2004.

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Photo of Mr David Stewart Mr David Stewart PPS (Rt Hon Alistair Darling, Secretary of State), Department for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what bulk discounts the national health service receives from drug companies.

Photo of Rosie Winterton Rosie Winterton The Minister of State, Department of Health

In the case of branded medicines (that are generally patent protected) suppliers may or may not offer discount to the national health service trusts against their list prices. Where discounts are offered for these products, they may be available simply as a discount, or as a discount for bulk purchases or commitment to purchase specific volumes. Where discounts are not offered, more often than not, NHS trusts will have access to wholesaler discounts.

NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency aggregates NHS trust business for the supply of licensed medicinal products, competitively tenders this business and awards framework agreements on behalf of the NHS in England. It also awards commitment contracts on behalf of the Department.

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