Drugs: Prices

Health written question – answered on 1st February 2012.

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Photo of Mark Durkan Mark Durkan Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (International Development), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Treasury)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) what plans he has for the use of value-based pricing for the Cancer Drugs Fund; what agreement he has reached with each devolved administration on a timetable for the adoption of value-based pricing; and if he will make a statement;

(2) what safeguards he plans to put in place together with the devolved administrations to ensure that existing standards and best practice for drugs pricing are maintained across jurisdictions after the adoption of value-based pricing.

Photo of Simon Burns Simon Burns The Minister of State, Department of Health

The Cancer Dugs Fund (CDF) operates in England only but, when introduced, it is planned that value-based pricing (VBP) will apply United Kingdom wide.

We are working with colleagues in the devolved Administrations on our plans to introduce a system of VBP for medicines, and will continue to do so as this work progresses. The new system of VBP will be introduced from January 2014, following the end of the 2009 pharmaceutical price regulation scheme.

We want to find a way in which patients who would benefit from drugs provided through the CDF can continue to do so, at a cost that represents value to the national health service, after the CDF ends in 2014. We are considering whether it would be sensible to assess some of these drugs under the new VBP arrangements when they are introduced, but a decision on this has not yet been made.

We will ensure that there are arrangements in place to protect individual patients who are receiving treatment with drugs funded by the CDF as the end of the fund approaches.

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