Government says it can’t review price of orphan drugs until end of 2013

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 29 November 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6857
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

The Department of Health for England has said it has no powers to control the price of amifampridine (marketed as Firdapse), which was the subject of an open letter to the prime minister and health secretary published in the BMJ (BMJ 2010;341:c6466, doi:10.1136/bmj.c6466).

Lord Howe, a junior minister at the health department, responded to a letter from Sajid Javid MP by reiterating the rules that govern drug pricing in the United Kingdom under the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS). These rules allow companies to specify their own prices, subject only to a profit ceiling if their sales to the NHS exceed £35m (€41m; $55m) a year.

BioMarin, the …

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