The costs of branded medicines are controlled by the 2019 Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access and the statutory scheme for branded medicines.
For unbranded generic medicines the Department relies on competition to keep prices down. This has led to some of the lowest prices in Europe and allows prices to react to the market. In an international market this ensures that when demand is high and supply is low, prices in the United Kingdom can increase to help secure the availability of medicines for UK patients.
Companies should not capitalise on the current COVID-19 situation by charging unjustifiably high prices for drugs and other supplies. Concerns about pricing abuse are a matter for the Competition and Markets Authority.