The Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access is an agreement between the Department, NHS England, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and manufacturers or suppliers of branded health service medicines which have joined the Scheme. The Voluntary Scheme includes an objective of reaching the upper quartile of uptake, in relation to comparator countries, for the five highest health gain categories during the first half of the Voluntary Scheme. The five categories of medicines identified by NHS England to deliver high health gain are:
- Cystic fibrosis (CFTR modulators, ivacaftor, lumacaftor/ ivacaftor and tezacaftor/ ivacaftor);
- Severe asthma (biologics);
- Smoking cessation with varenicline;
- Atrial fibrillation and thromboembolism (anticoagulants); and
- Hepatitis C (antiretrovirals).