NHS spending on drugs is frozen for two years under price deal

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 07 November 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6731
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

NHS spending on branded medicines will be held flat for the next two years with increases of less than 2% in the following three years under a new voluntary deal with the pharmaceutical industry which comes into effect on 1 January 2014.

The Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme is a voluntary agreement negotiated between the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and the Department of Health, on behalf of the NHS in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.1

This is the first time the government has set a fixed limit on NHS drug spending. Under the new scheme pharmaceutical companies will be required to rebate the difference between the allowed growth in the drugs bill and the estimated actual increase in the cost of treatments, which is estimated to be 3.74% in 2014. Costs will be allowed to rise by …

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