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NHS: Drugs

Volume 478: debated on Thursday 26 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the evidential basis is for the statement in the impact assessment on the statutory scheme to control prices of branded NHS medicines that any change in UK pricing will have a negligible effect on the viability of these global businesses. (213559)

The Department's ‘Consultation on a Statutory Scheme to Control the Price of Branded NHS Medicines’ and the accompanying impact assessment, issued on 18 June 2008, set out how the proposed measures that are subject to consultation are estimated to result in a lost profits to the pharmaceutical industry of £280 million a year. The United Kingdom comprises only 3.5 per cent. of the global market and in patent medicine prices will continue to be significantly greater than manufacturing and distribution costs. Therefore the Department has concluded that, although there will be an impact on profits for the global pharmaceutical industry as a result of the proposed measures, these will not be significant enough to affect the viability of global pharmaceutical companies.

The part of the consultation dealing with the price cut and measures to limit the price of out of patent brands ends on 25 September 2008. The consultation document invites comments on the impact assessment, in particular the analysis of costs and benefits. Copies of ‘Consultation on a Statutory Scheme to Control the Price of Branded NHS Medicines’ have been placed in the Library and are also available on the Department's website at: