UK Gov caps NHS medicine spend to increase savings

The UK Government has struck a new five-year, multi-billion pricing deal with pharmaceutical companies to cap the NHS spending limit on branded medicines for the first time ever.

The limit will remain flat at £12 billion for two years, followed by small increases of less than 2% in the following three years – a significant saving for the taxpayer.

“This agreement ensures NHS patients will receive the best and most advanced medicines in the world while managing the cost.

“UK pharmaceutical companies have responded to the challenges we face as a country, both in terms of the increased demand for medicines and pressure on public spending. I hope in return we have given them the certainty and backing they need to flourish as a sector both here and in the global market.”

Jeremy Hunt, UK Health Secretary.

Discussions between the Government and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) have been ongoing for many months. According to the Department of Health, the agreement “signals a shared objective focused on giving patients access to the best medicines, increasing the use of innovative medicines in the UK and balancing the books in a tough economic environment”.

“This has been a very challenging and long negotiation and it should not be underestimated how tough this deal is for the industry. However, we have agreed to play our part in recognising the financial challenges facing the NHS whilst focusing on the key issue of ensuring that patients in the UK get access to the medicines they need.

“The Government and the NHS need to recognise that medicines are not a cost but an investment in patient care and do their part to ensure that patients have access to new and innovative medicines that will improve the quality of their lives.”

Deepak Khanna, ABPI President.



Related news:

UK caps state drugs bill under new deal with industry (Reuters)

Drug industry agrees to £12bn NHS bill cap (Guardian)

Reference links:

Department of Health press release

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