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Friday 28th October 2016

Patients to benefit from new drug pricing system

16th December 2010

Proposals that will in future enable more NHS patients to access innovative medicines were set out by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley today.  The plans for pricing drugs according to how they benefit patients, the NHS and wider society were published in a consultation: A new value-based approach to the pricing of branded medicines.

The consultation looks at how a medicine’s value can best be measured and reflected in the price the NHS pays for it. The new arrangements would mean that more licensed and effective drugs will be available to NHS patients and clinicians at a price that reflects the value they bring.  

While the current system of pricing medicines has tried to achieve a balance between reasonable prices for both the NHS and the pharmaceutical industry, it does not  sufficiently promote patient access or innovation effectively.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, said:

“I want to ensure patients have access to the right medicines and treatment. I do not want in future for the effect of the medicines pricing system to be the denial of effective and appropriate treatments  to NHS patients. So we need to change the way drugs are priced and ensure value for money for the NHS.  Doctors should be able to focus on what matters most – achieving the best health outcomes for their patient, not debating the relative value and price of a drug.

“Value-based pricing will ensure that the price the NHS pays for medicines are based on an assessment of its value, looking at the benefits for the patient, unmet need, therapeutic innovation and benefit to society as a whole.

“I look forward to working with the NHS and the pharmaceutical industry to develop a system that encourages medical research and rewards truly innovative breakthrough drugs.”

As an international leader in the evaluation of drugs and health technologies, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) will continue to have an important advisory role in the new system, including in assessing the clinical benefits of new medicines and giving authoritative evidenced-based advice to clinicians.

Value-based pricing will be introduced from 2014 following the expiry of the current Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme arrangements at the end of 2013.

This consultation invites contributions from all interested parties towards the development of the future model of drug pricing.


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