The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and the U.K. Department of Health have announced a fourth quarter payment from industry of $119.3 million to underwrite the growth of the medicines bill under the 2014 Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS). This takes the total payment made by industry during 2014 to $456.7 million.
In 2014, the growth for the full year was 5.2%—less than the quarter three growth of 5.93%. While this represents growth above the original joint forecast of 3.87%, when compared to the same quarter in 2013 it indicates growth of 3.2%. Increased use of branded medicines is encouraging, but industry still would like to see equal access for patients to all medicines across care sectors.
Alison Clough, ABPI’s executive director commercial, said, “The PPRS provides government and the NHS with a unique opportunity to offer patients access to newer, more innovative medicines at minimal additional cost and today’s announcement demonstrates industry’s commitment to supporting the NHS in a time of austerity. However there is significant disparity of growth across the primary and secondary care settings as well as between different therapy areas. We are committed to working with all parties to ensure that the barriers to the use of new medicines in all care settings are removed and that NICE appropriately assesses medicines so that ring-fenced funds for selected therapy areas are not needed.”
“Industry agreed to the PPRS in order to improve the use of innovative medicines in the U.K.,” said Clough. “We are working with the Department of Health, NHS England and government to ensure action in key areas such as changes to NICE’s decision making framework and medicines optimization to maximize the benefits of the PPRS so that patients can get the right medicine at the right time.”
Industry will underwrite any further expenditure by the NHS subject to specific exceptions set out in chapter 6 of the PPRS. The pharmaceutical industry has agreed to keep NHS expenditure on branded medicines flat for two years and under 2% growth for the following three year. Companies will make percentage payments based on any difference between allowed growth and actual growth in NHS expenditure on branded medicines, subject to the agreed exclusions.
One hundred and thirty-four companies, representing 93% of the U.K. branded industry, joined the voluntary PPRS, which was agreed in November 2013 following the most complex pricing negotiations ever experienced.