HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 15 April 2016

April 2016 NCSO/Price Concessions

13 April 2016, PSNC


The Department of Health granted the following price concessions for April 2016:


Please note the price concession only applies to the month it was granted


Drug Pack Size Price Concession
Bumetanide 1mg tablets 28 £2.05
Celiprolol 400mg tablets 28 £39.65
Cimetidine 400mg tablets 60 £19.99
Flecainide 50mg tablets 60 £7.50
Flecainide 100mg tablets 60 £6.83
Lamotrigine 5mg dispersible tablets sugar free 28 £7.50
Mefenamic acid 500mg tablets 28 £10.25
Pioglitazone 15mg tablets 28 £19.20
Pioglitazone 30mg tablets 28 £24.32


Please note that PSNC cannot provide details of generic products that are suspected of being affected by generic supply problems unless and until the Department of Health grants a concession.No additional endorsements are required for price concessions.

Contractors will be alerted to any updates through our website and via our e-news email.  If you wish to subscribe to our email list, you can receive an email as soon as any announcements are made.

If you have problems obtaining a Part VIII product or problems obtaining the product at the set Drug Tariff price, please report the issue to PSNC using the online feedback form on the PSNC Website.

If you have been able to source the product, please provide full details of the supplier and price paid. PSNC will investigate the extent of the problem and if appropriate discuss the issue with the Department of Health.


Major changes to the UK pharma market have been delayed because of the EU referendum on 23 June

14 April 2016, Pharmaphorum


Government activity will be restricted in the weeks before the EU referendum in order to avoid unfair influencing of public opinion. This will affect two major consultations for the pharma industry: The Accelerated Access Review (AAR), a scheme to encourage medical innovation and the Statutory Pricing Scheme, an alternative pricing system to the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme.


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Major changes to the UK pharma market have been delayed because of the EU referendum on 23 June

14 April 2016, Pharmaphorum


Civil servants must observe a period of ‘purdah’ in the weeks before a general election or referendum, which restricts government activity to avoid unfairly influencing public opinion.


This has hit two major consultations for the pharma industry – the Accelerated Access Review (AAR) and proposed changes to the medicines pricing system known as the Statutory Scheme.


The AAR is the brainchild of life sciences minister George Freeman, who wants it to re-shape the UK market and the national health service (NHS) around encouraging medical innovation, and remove some of the blocks and bottlenecks which plague the current system.


It released its interim report in October 2015, setting out 5 propositions to speed up access to ‘transformative health technology that can change the lives of NHS patients’.


This isn’t the first time the report has been delayed – the final AAR report was originally scheduled for autumn 2015, then pushed on to spring 2016 (ie April). Civil servants now say the final report will be launched shortly after referendum day 23 June, and have told pharma that it remains a ‘key priority’.


However there remains scepticism about the AAR’s ability to have a big impact on the UK sector and NHS uptake of new medicines, medical devices and other new technology – mainly because of the unprecedented squeeze on NHS spending.


Also, the AAR isn’t able to recommend changes to the core working of NHS cost effectiveness watchdog NICE, or the main medicines pricing system, the Pharmaceutical price regulation scheme (PPRS). This means the report can’t be truly comprehensive, particularly as the pharma industry wants to see fundamental reform to how NICE works.


Despite these delays, industry body the ABPI remains upbeat. A spokesperson for the organisation said: “We still believe that the Review is a great and unique opportunity to enable greater patient access and benefit from new medicines despite the delay in publication.”


Top of the ABPI’s wish list is for the UK to adopt new medicines more quickly, as it still lags behind European neighbours in this respect. The ABPI says it wants to see “rapid and widespread use of new medicines ‘hard-wired’ across the entire healthcare system.”


Meanwhile the second significant consultation delayed by the referendum is that on the Statutory Pricing Scheme.


This is an alternative pricing system to the PPRS, and has become more popular in recent years for some companies who think it has more flexibility. These include many small to medium sized companies, but also ViiV and Gilead whose HIV and hepatitis C drugs represent a major area of expenditure for the NHS.


Last year the government grew concerned by more companies joining the scheme, and it producing lower savings that the PPRS, a gap which it predicted would widen. Also, the scheme doesn’t include price cuts on produces launched after December 2013 – this includes Gilead’s high cost hepatitis C drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni.


The Department of Health therefore proposed enforcing either price cuts of between 20% to 30% or a new system of percentage payments of between 10% and 17%.


These proposals have been strongly opposed by industry organisations such as the Ethical Medicines Industry Group (EMIG, many of whose members are on the statutory scheme) and the ABPI.


The ABPI said in September it was concerned the plans sent out “further negative signals globally about the UK’s willingness to pay for new and innovative medicines for patients.”


Regardless of the delay, some industry insiders anticipate that the government is intent on making statutory scheme conditions so unfavourable that most companies will switch to the PPRS.

HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 15 April 2016

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