Drugs: Orphan Medicines

House of Lords written question – answered on 24th November 2010.

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Photo of Lord Taylor of Warwick Lord Taylor of Warwick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will review the legislation governing the pricing of orphan drugs.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The Government are working to introduce a new system of pricing for medicines, where the price of a drug will be linked to its assessed value, when the current pharmaceutical price regulation scheme expires at the end of 2013. Our proposals to ensure that clinicians and patients will have better access to licensed and effective drugs will be set out in a public consultation before the end of this year.

Rewards to companies under the orphan medicines scheme should be proportionate to the effort and cost incurred. If there is evidence of systematic use of the orphan drug legislation in circumstances where companies are not incurring substantial research and development costs, then we would consider pressing for a change in the European legislation.

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