Drugs

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 11th October 2018.

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Photo of Paul Blomfield Paul Blomfield Shadow Minister (Exiting the European Union)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has (a) estimated the cost to medicines suppliers of stockpiling medicines for six weeks and (b) held discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on using the public purse to meet that cost.

Photo of Paul Blomfield Paul Blomfield Shadow Minister (Exiting the European Union)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what pharmaceutical (a) companies and (b) industry bodies his Department has held discussions with in relation to the potential use of the public purse to meet the costs of medicines stockpiling; and what costs the Government has proposed to cover.

Photo of Paul Blomfield Paul Blomfield Shadow Minister (Exiting the European Union)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the effect of medicines stockpiling on (a) industry costs, (b) medicines pricing and (c) patient access to medicines.

Photo of Stephen Barclay Stephen Barclay Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The Government is considering what support it may provide support to suppliers in respect to stockpiling medicines.

The Department recognises that through its medicines supply contingency programme it is requesting sensitive commercial information from pharmaceutical companies. To reassure participating companies, we’ve committed to treating all information received confidentially, securely and to using it only for the purposes of the Department’s programme. That means not introducing information about a company or a specific medicine into the public domain.

Prices for branded medicine products are fixed under the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme. For other generic medicines products there is a competitive market and prices increase and decrease on a regular basis as a result of market forces. We will continue to monitor prices and respond appropriately to ensure maximum value for money on behalf of the taxpayer is achieved.

In the unlikely event of a no-deal the aim of the Department’s contingency planning is to ensure patients maintain the same access to medicines as they do at present.

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