Value based drug pricing could increase NHS drugs bill

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 17 March 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1759
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

Government proposals to change the way drugs are priced in the United Kingdom could increase the bill to the NHS without a corresponding benefit to patients, the NHS Confederation warns.

In its response to the Department of Health for England’s consultation on value based pricing of drugs, the confederation, which represents more than 95% of the organisations in the NHS, warns of a loss of transparency, the danger of politicising the process, and the likelihood that the scheme will provide little real incentive to drug companies to innovate.

Even drugs whose price reflects their value to the NHS may be poor value for money when compared with other treatment options such as earlier detection, surgery, or radiotherapy, the confederation says. Decisions are to be based on “expert advice,” which suggests that decisions may not be fully …

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