Drugs: Prices

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 22nd March 2018.

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Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Labour, Cambridge

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of whether further price reductions on innovative branded medicines are necessary given the majority of medicines are capped through the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS) operates by capping overall growth in expenditure on branded medicines within the scope of the scheme. Innovative medicines, defined as those containing a new active substance, have freedom of pricing at launch under the terms of the scheme. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence assesses cost-effectiveness of the medicine and under the terms of the PPRS companies may offer discounts through a patient access scheme in order to secure a cost-effective price.

In order for NHS England to manage affordability of any particular medicine a budget impact test may trigger a further commercial discussion with a company if the cost of the medicine may exceed £20 million in any of the first three years. Taken together these arrangements balance patient access to innovative cost-effective medicines with access to appropriate treatment for all patients, and secure best value for the taxpayer and a clear route to market for companies.

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