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Access to medicines

Scotland’s fund for accessing new drugs evolves and expands

A £40m fund to make new medicines available to people with rare conditions or those at the end of life has been announced by the Scottish government.

The New Medicines Fund replaces the Rare Conditions Medicines Fund set up in March 2014 with a £20m budget, which gave more than 200 patients access to 45 new medicines.

The new fund has been paid for by the rebate given to the government by the pharmaceutical industry through the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS) — the UK-wide branded drugs pricing scheme.

“In the PPRS agreement, industry has agreed to do its part by keeping NHS expenditure on branded medicines across the UK flat for two years, with the industry underwriting any further expenditure by the NHS within agreed boundaries,” explains Andrew Powrie-Smith, director of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry Scotland, which represents drugs manufacturers. “I am glad to see that the Scottish government is leading the way in re-investing money from PPRS in new medicines.”

The Scottish government has guaranteed funding for the New Medicines Fund until at least 2015/2016.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.20066742

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