Drugs: Cost Effectiveness

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 1st November 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Alex Norris Alex Norris Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to make an assessment of the potential merits of changing the NICE discount rate to align with the latest evidence base and guidance in the Treasury Green book.

Photo of Alex Norris Alex Norris Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the NICE methods and process review, what steps he is taking to tackle the policy and system barriers NICE has identified as preventing the implementation of the discount rate.

Photo of Alex Norris Alex Norris Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the impact of the Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access on improving patient access to new medicines; and if he will make a statement on the relevance to patients of changing the discount rate used by NICE from 3.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent.

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is an independent body and is currently reviewing the methods and processes it uses in its health technology assessments, including considering changes to the discount rate applied to costs and benefits.

NICE has recently consulted publicly on a set of proposals for changes to its methods and processes and is considering the comments received. NICE’s consultation stated that there is an evidence-based case for changing the discount rate to 1.5%. However, it acknowledged the wider policy and fiscal implications and proposed to maintain the existing rate while further data is collected on the likely effects of a change. NICE also proposed to maintain a non-reference case discount rate of 1.5% for use in exceptional circumstances.

The Department supports NICE’s proposal, which is in line with the expectations for the review as set out in the Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access (VPAS) agreed with industry. The VPAS has driven significant improvements in patient access to clinically and cost-effective medicines, whilst ensuring sustainable and predictable spend growth for the National Health Service and industry. Aided by the new commercial flexibilities provided by VPAS and the NHS Commercial Framework, NICE now recommends the vast majority of new medicines it appraises, with 100% recommended in 2020/21.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.