Friday, November 09, 2012

What social contract?

ABPI warns social contract between UK's NHS and Pharma is breaking down

Keywords: UK, ABPI, NHS savings, Discovery risk, Rewards, Drug pricing

Article | 8 November 2012

The UK trade group the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABP) has warned that the social contract between the National Health Service and the pharmaceutical industry was breaking down, with patients bearing the brunt.

In a speech to industry leaders at the ABPI's annual member conference, chief executive Stephen Whitehead said, in the past, pharmaceutical companies invested heavily and took great risks to discover medicines and were then rewarded through sales to the NHS so that further investment could be made for new treatments. But he is now concerned this deal has broken down as the system fails to buy the newest and most innovative medicines - to the detriment of patient health and the long term viability of the pharmaceutical industry. Spending on the newest medicines is set to decline in the coming years despite their use helping to reduce expensive hospital care and despite the savings the NHS has made on the medicines budget as many treatments lose their patent, he noted.

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