Drug Prices

March 2018

The Government is committed to paying a fair price for medicines used in the NHS. Where companies exploit the NHS by charging higher prices, this money cannot be spent elsewhere on patient care.
You may be interested to know that the Government has recently legislated to ensure that high prices of generic medicines can be better controlled. This action reflects the Government's determination to ensure that no pharmaceutical company can charge unjustifiably high prices for medicines used in the NHS. 
In 2016, the Secretary of State for Health asked the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to urgently look into whether pharmaceutical companies are exploiting the NHS by increasing their prices. The CMA have fined companies that have been found to be charging excessive prices and the Department of Health continues to work closely with the CMA on further investigations into the pharmaceutical sector.
The Government also commissioned the Accelerated Access Review, which has set out a range of ways we can improve and speed up access to the latest treatments but do so affordably for the NHS, and is running a public consultation into medicines which should not be routinely prescribed in primary care, in order to assess areas in which the NHS has been spending money on expensive, and clinically ineffective medicines.

It should be noted, too, that the NHS is required, by law, to ensure that all medicines signed off for use by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence are sufficiently funded.