Saturday, February 16, 2013

Let the sun shine in

Bowing to pressure, govt and industry open up VBP talks

The Department of Health and ABPI have released a joint statement announcing that crucial talks on changes to the UK-wide system for pricing and assessing new drugs are to be ‘opened up’.

The move follows an influential coalition of leading cancer charities, led by Prostate Cancer UK, warning the UK Government that continuing to exclude patient views from the talks risked seriously undermining the credibility and effectiveness of the new value-based pricing system.

In a joint statement, the ABPI and the Department of Health said: “There are several factors that may affect future arrangements which are subject to legislation or the Department’s relationship with other bodies. They include, for example, the role of NICE and related issues such as thresholds, where the ABPI has never had any right of direct intervention or negotiation.

“However, both DH and the ABPI recognise that developments in these areas will have an impact on negotiations, particularly regarding the evolution of value-based pricing. We have therefore agreed with the Department to hold separate meetings on these matters.

“The content of these meetings will be reported back to meetings of the negotiating teams for their information to ensure an holistic basis of common understanding for a new scheme. Any such parallel meetings will be attended by a member of the ABPI negotiating team to ensure seamless integration.”

This comes as the ABPI is debating a new drug pricing scheme - value based pricing - with the UK Government. VBP could replace the current PPRS pricing scheme by January 2014, and could see the UK Government set drug prices at launch based on new definitions of value.

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