Global Report: If It Ain't Broke - Pharmaceutical Executive


Global Report: If It Ain't Broke
Under the UK's pricing scheme, drug prices have dropped by 21 percent in 10 years. Is it really time for a change?

Pharmaceutical Executive

The government is not obliged to take OFT's advice and has until mid-June to consider the findings. ABPI has said it is happy to discuss drug pricing further. "The pharmaceutical industry wholeheartedly supports the desire of the NHS to deliver value for money," says ABPI's Barker. "We are ready to sit down with the government to discuss ways in which this might be better achieved."

"It's important when thinking about changing [the drug pricing method] to take into account the impacts—both intended and unintended," says OHE's Towse. He added that as an independent body, OFT is not obliged to carry out the sort of impact assessments government departments are required to.

No changes will be made to the scheme until the current agreement expires in 2010. Industry hopes that whatever solution is selected by then will be one that rewards innovation. "The current system has delivered major benefits to patients," concludes Barker. "We expect government to consider very carefully the proposals to make wholesale changes to it, so that those advantages are not put at risk."

Sarah Houlton is Pharmaceutical Executive's global correspondent. She can be reached at


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