Branded Medicines Pricing

Closed 7 Nov 2014

Opened 10 Oct 2014

Overview

The Department of Health is consulting on proposals to strengthen the arrangements for controlling the cost of branded medicines to the health service. The aim is to keep the Statutory Pricing Scheme in broad alignment with the voluntary  Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme 2014  to allow the whole of the branded medicines pricing system to operate in a fair and consistent way.

We are seeking comments on two aspects of the statutory scheme:

  • Whether there should be a further reduction in the maximum price of prescription only, branded health service medicines
  • A proposal to require companies to supply information on actual prices of medicines on the rare occasion where there may be breach of the regulations

Why We Are Consulting

The proposals are aimed at keeping the statutory pricing scheme in broad alignment with the voluntary Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS), to allow the whole of the branded medicines pricing system to operate in a fair and consistent way.

The branded medicine pricing system allows patients access to the medicines they need while maintaining affordability for the NHS and providing stability for industry in support of the Government’s innovation and growth agenda. Small companies with less than £5 million of sales a year to the NHS are exempted.

The growth in the branded medicines bill during the first half of 2014 has been higher than forecast, and so the payment levels for companies in the PPRS are likely to be higher than expected. We are therefore seeking comments on a range of potential price adjustments to keep the statutory scheme broadly in line with the voluntary PPRS.

In addition we are proposing that manufacturers and suppliers should record and keep information on actual selling prices of branded health services medicines and provide them to the Department of Health upon request on the rare occasions when the Department needs to investigate a potential breach of the regulations.

What Happens Next

The Department of Health will consider the consultation responses before making any amendments to the statutory scheme which controls prices of branded health service medicines.

In reaching a decision on the proposals, the Department will take into account a range of relevant factors, including the challenging financial position of the NHS, the need to align broadly the effect of the statutory and voluntary schemes, and responses from people and organisations consulted.

Audiences

  • Members of the public

Interests

  • Regulation