UK National Health Service Proposing 10% Cut For Prescription Drug Prices

Armen Hareyan's picture

Prescription Drug Prices

The United Kingdom's NationalHealth Service is negotiating revisions to the U.K. nationalprice list that could cut prescription drug prices by 10%, theFinancial Timesreports. A five-year, 7% cut was made in 2005 under the lastnegotiation of the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme, which wassupposed to last until 2010. The larger cut proposed by NHS wouldsave one billion pounds annually and help meet savings goals mandatedby the Treasury in 2007. NHS plans to reach an agreement with theindustry by June.


According to the Times, thedrug industry is concerned that the government is too focused onreducing drug costs and is not taking into account the savings drugscan provide in health and social care costs or what lower pricesmight do to drug research and development in the U.K.

Thepharmaceutical industry might endorse calls to remove off-patentbranded drugs from the payment schedule but in return request higherprices for innovative treatments and faster approval for new drugs.Meanwhile, a report from the Office of Fair Trading called for thePPRS to move toward a value-based scheme under which the cost fordrugs would be more closely related to the benefits the medication(Timmins, provides. Such a system likely would increase prices for some drugs,but lower the cost of others, according to the TimesFinancial Times, 1/7).

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