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Vital that pharmacy is central to development of value-based pricing

By News team

Pharmacy needs to be central to the development of value-based pricing (VBP) according to the Pharmacy Practice Research Trust, which held a round table discussion last week (10 February 2011) on the proposed new pricing system.

Hosted by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the meeting brought together key stakeholders (see Panel) to gather views on how the system can best meet patient needs.

“Clearly VBP is, conceptually, a good thing — a product being priced in line with its value,” said PPRT trustee and emeritus professor of health care development at Sheffield University Brian Edwards, who chaired the meeting.

“However, as ever, the devil is in the detail and it’s vital that pharmacy is central to the development of VBP, given its knowledge and expertise in the full cycle of the making and taking of medicines.”

Wholesaler AAH has called for VBP discussions to involve dispensers and other members of the supply chain, not just manufacturers, claiming that “all too often the Department [of Health] limits its focus to the relationship between the NHS and manufacturers”.

In its response to the DoH’s consultation on the proposed system, AAH has asked for more information on how pricing decisions will be announced and what that will mean for the holding of stock in the supply chain — and hence for product availability.

It has also called for manufacturers’ supply chain costs to be taken into consideration when a product’s price is set using the new system.

The British Association of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers has yet to respond to the consultation, but a spokesman said its key message will be to urge the DoH to engage with the whole supply chain about the impacts of the system changes, which could affect pharmacy remuneration as well as incentives for wholesalers to compete.

Other key organisations, including Alliance Healthcare, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, are currently working on their responses to the consultation, which closes on 17 March 2011.

VBP meeting participants

The meeting was attended by representatives from the pharmaceutical industry, secondary care and community pharmacy — including those involved in GP pathfinder consortia.

Strategic health authority and primary care trust pharmacists were present, including those with expertise in medicines procurement and theinterim cancer drugs fund.

Also present were representatives from patient organisations and health economists, including those involved in National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence technology appraisals.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 11068651

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