Medical Treatments

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 30 January 2023.

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Photo of Chris Green Chris Green Conservative, Bolton West

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is his policy to work with (a) patient groups, (b) industry stakeholders and (c) other relevant parties on finding solutions to the challenges of patient access to combination therapy treatments, including (i) a lack of framework for multi-indication pricing, (ii) rigid cost-effectiveness frameworks and (iii) legal barriers.

Photo of Chris Green Chris Green Conservative, Bolton West

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to establish an independently-led task and finish group to consult on and suggest innovative solutions for overcoming pricing, cost effectiveness and legal challenges around patient access to combination therapy treatments in oncology.

Photo of Chris Green Chris Green Conservative, Bolton West

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will work with the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence to establish or adapt frameworks which support combination therapies to be assessed and accessed more readily in the UK, as part of NICE's iterative approach.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The Department wants patients to benefit from access to effective new treatments at a price that represents value and is fair to all parties. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has been able to recommend over 95% of the combination therapies on which it published technology appraisal guidance between 2017 and 2022. NICE is developing a modular approach to its methods and process updates and potential topics will be considered by NICE taking into account all relevant factors.

NHS England’s Commercial Framework for New Medicines recognises that realising the full potential health benefits from combination drug therapies can be challenging given the requirement for commercial confidentiality and the need to maintain competition.

Alongside NICE, NHS England has been supporting the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) efforts to find solutions to enable companies to engage with one another where health-improving combination therapies face challenges coming to market.

In the United Kingdom, the Competition and Markets Authority represents the sole competent authority, and the commercial aspects of bringing combination therapies to the market must be compliant with relevant legislation.

There are currently no plans to establish a task and finish group.

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