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No further price cut for non-PPRS drugs in UK

But industry concerned over long-term plan for statutory medicines on the NHS

UK 
flagThe UK's Department of Health has said there will be no further price cuts for branded medicines not funded via the voluntary Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS) in a move welcomed by the industry.

The DH announced in November 2013 that it would reduce the cost of these statutory medicines by 15% as part of wider drug pricing negotiations and there were concerns that this would be reduced further for 2015.

These immediate fears have now been allayed following a consultation process although the industry remains concerned about the long-term pricing plan for these drugs.

Stephen Whitehead, chief executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) said: “Whilst it is good news for now that no further price cuts will be imposed on branded medicines on top of the 15% imposed last year, I am concerned that there may be further cuts to come.”

Questions were also raised by the British Generic Manufacturers' Association (BGMA), which represents manufacturers and suppliers of generic drugs in the UK.

The organisation's director general Warwick Smith said: “We are still concerned that scope for reduction remains an option and that the response does not adequately reflect the importance and operation of the branded generic medicines market in the UK.

He added: “[Branded generics] already offer a big reduction off the price of the originator brand even after patent expiry and any further price reduction threatens the sustainability of this market and therefore the supply of these important medicines to patients.”

Also weighing in was the Ethical Medicines Industry Group, representing the smaller drug companies in the UK.

The group's chairman Leslie Galloway said that these firms had been “unfairly penalised” by the DH's decision not to introduce a taper to the regulations to benefit smaller pharma companies. This taper would have meant that companies with annual NHS sales of up to £25m would have seen £5m of their sales exempt from the price cut.

“EMIG members will be disappointed that an opportunity has been missed to champion and stimulate smaller companies to invest and innovate,” said Galloway.

Article by
Thomas Meek

2nd February 2015

From: Sales, Healthcare

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