To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of the cost neutral approach taken in the proposals for change to NICE methods and process in the context of the Voluntary Pricing and Access Scheme agreement which commits industry to pay back any growth in the medicines budget above the agreed level.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is an independent body responsible for the review of its methods and processes. The Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access (VPAS) states that NICE’s methods review should be consistent with improving the health gain achieved by spending on new innovative medicines, meaning that the proposals should result in the same or lower prices for new medicines on average. Whilst the VPAS aims to contribute to maintaining affordability of overall National Health Service spending on branded medicines, it not the only mechanism for doing so. The financial impact of any changes to NICE’s methods and processes will extend beyond the life of the current VPAS and NICE considers the budgetary impact of its proposals.