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Pharmaceutical industry 

ABPI applies for judicial review to challenge NHS and NICE

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has confirmed that it has applied for a judicial review to challenge a decision made by NHS England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to introduce an additional negotiation process for medicines that are likely to cost the NHS more than £20m in any of the first three years of use. The decision was made by the two bodies in an attempt to cuts costs across the health service.

According to the ABPI, NICE, which determines whether any new medicine is sufficiently cost-effective to be offered on the NHS, has calculated that around one in five new medicines will be affected by this additional process. The Financial Times says that this is likely to have an impact on the majority of big global pharmaceutical companies. 

In addition to this, the UK trade association is also seeking to reverse changes to the procedure for assessing medicines for very rare diseases, which raises the bar for acceptance of new drugs, saying they are “inappropriate” and “unworkable”.

“These new arrangements will delay access to cost-effective medicines and deny treatments to patients suffering from rare diseases,” says Mike Thompson, chief executive of the ABPI.

“After many months of raising concerns with NICE, NHS England and the Department of Health and offering to work constructively on alternative proposals, we have applied to formally challenge these proposals in court.

“We believe this to be the right course of action due to the potential damage these changes will cause to NHS care and on our ability to research, develop and use new medicines here in the UK. We hope that the government will reverse the changes and work with us to find a solution that works for everyone,” he adds.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20203144

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