UK is negotiating with drugmakers to lower NHS prices

October 07, 2008
by Anna Bratulic

The UK government is negotiating with pharmaceutical companies to offer lower prices for new drugs on the understanding that the NHS will pay more for the treatments if "later evidence proves greater effectiveness." Government officials see the move as "an answer to whether patients should be allowed to "top up" NHS" treatments that are deemed clinically effective but not cost-effective by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.

Negotiations between government officials and ABPI are underway to arrive at a "risk-sharing" agreement as part of a new pharmaceutical price regulation system that will be launched in 2009. Under the scheme, companies would reduce the price of a drug sufficiently to allow the product to be approved by NICE, and the drug's price would subsequently raise as proof of clinical effectiveness grows.

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