MPs slam slow progress on drug pricing overhaul

LONDON Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:38am GMT

A National Health Service (NHS) sign is seen in the grounds of St Thomas' Hospital, in front of the Houses of Parliament in London June 7, 2011. REUTERS/Toby Melville

A National Health Service (NHS) sign is seen in the grounds of St Thomas' Hospital, in front of the Houses of Parliament in London June 7, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Toby Melville

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LONDON (Reuters) - MPs have criticised the government's failure to detail a new system for medicines pricing that is due to be introduced next January, saying lack of clarity is creating uncertainty for industry and doctors.

The House of Commons Health Committee called on the government on Wednesday to make clear its plans by the end of March 2013.

"There has been extensive discussion of the principle of value-based pricing but it remains a source of concern that so little progress has been made on defining this nebulous concept," the committee said in a report.

The government announced in 2010 that it planned an overhaul medicine pricing from 2014 by adopting a new system of "value-based pricing" - a concept that has so far not been clearly defined.

Drug prices are under growing pressure across Europe as governments tackle ballooning budget deficits, and firms fear the British changes might lead to direct price controls or further obstacles to launching new therapies.

"We do not regard it as acceptable that the arrangements for value-based pricing have still not been settled and that those who will have to work with those arrangements are still unclear about what value-based pricing will mean in practice," the committee said.

"Industry needs certainty about how it should bring its products to the NHS (National Health Service), and patient groups and clinicians need to understand what their role will be and how they can make their views heard."

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)

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Comments (3)
DR9WX wrote:
The Government appear to be bloated, inefficient and ineffective.

So, do they need to become larger or smaller?

Should they have ever more control of everything or less?

Are they better at micro managing the lives of sixty million people than the people themselves?

Jan 16, 2013 9:26am GMT  --  Report as abuse
DR9WX wrote:
I suggest taxing the people far far less. Anyone earning less than £16,000 to pay no tax. Scrap VAT and taxes on new cars and the like.

Then let people pay for their own medicines, prices will soon sort themselves out. 60 million people will see to that.

My favourite would be for the Government to give money to everyone regardless of income. Then people could chooose to work or not work as they saw fit. Don’t bother with any tax or free stuff like schools and hospitals. Let the people spend their money on what they see fit.

This allows 60 million people to decide what is best for 60 million people rather than a Government attempting to control 60 million people.

Or aren’t we ready for that level of responsibility yet!

Jan 16, 2013 9:39am GMT  --  Report as abuse
DR9WX wrote:
Of course the Government and Bankers won’t like my ‘no tax’ plan. The Bankers like to control our money and the Government likes to control our lives.

The people seem to be institutionalised and ‘want’ or ‘need’ to be controlled. I just don’t get it.

I just don’t.

Jan 16, 2013 9:44am GMT  --  Report as abuse
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