NICE responds to government’s plans to introduce value-based pricing


NICE has issued its response to the government’s plans to introduce a new value-based system of pricing medicines which aims to give NHS patients better access to effective and innovative medicines.
The government launched a consultation on value-based pricing in December last year, after outlining its plans to replace the current Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme in the Health White Paper.
The government believes that although the current system of pricing medicines has tried to achieve a balance between reasonable prices for the NHS and a fair return for the industry to develop new medicines, it does not promote innovation or access.
Too often, the NHS has been in the position of either having to pay high prices that are not always justified by the benefits of a new medicine, or having to restrict access.
Commenting on the consultation, Sir Andrew Dillon, Chief Executive of NICE, said: “We support the general principle that the NHS should pay a price which reflects the additional therapeutic benefit of new drugs.
“We also share the Government’s ambition to ensure that the option exists for all new licensed drugs to be offered to those patients who can benefit from them, provided the price is a fair reflection of their value.
“Ministers have confirmed that NICE will continue to undertake an independent and objective assessment of the benefits of new drugs. We welcome the opportunity to review and, where appropriate, extend the perspective we use to undertake our assessment of the benefits they bring, to make sure that everything that matters to patients – and the wider NHS – is taken into account.
“Our response to the consultation on the Government’s plans shows how the aims of value-based pricing can be achieved by adapting the current NICE process, retaining and building on the best of a system that is universally regarded as the world leader in evaluating new drugs.
“We are confident that the Government will want to take advantage of NICE’s expertise and experience as it develops value-based pricing. The UK led the world in the appraisal of new health technologies, when it set up NICE in 1999.
“It can do the same in 2014 with a new approach to managing the entry of effective new treatments into the NHS, in a way which meets the needs and expectations of patients and which uses the health service’s resources effectively."

21 March 2011