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Drugs: Prices

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 135625, tabled on 13 April 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the process is for setting the Specials Drug Tariff; and who is responsible for implementing that tariff.

Answered on

23 April 2018

Since 2011 for the most commonly prescribed specials, a reimbursement price, which is determined by the Secretary of State, is listed in the Drug Tariff. We have continued to expand the number of products for which there is a reimbursement price listed in the Drug Tariff by prioritising products of the highest cost to the National Health Service or highest prescribing volume, thus reducing the cost and the variation in what the NHS pays. These reimbursement prices are set by using data from specials suppliers.

The powers in the Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Act 2017 enable the Government to reimburse for specials dispensed in primary care in different ways such as considering quotes of suppliers and not reimbursing pharmacies at all if, for example, they have been provided the medicine by a central service. Any proposals to implement changes will be subject to consultation with relevant stakeholders.

Further to the Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Act 2017, the Government ran a consultation on new Regulations for the provision of information about health service products. We are finalising the Regulations which are expected to be laid and enter into force later in 2018. The Information Regulations include requirements in relation to special medicinal products which will ensure that the Government obtains information from all manufacturers and importers. This information will make the reimbursement arrangements for the most commonly used special medicinal products more robust. However, where there are concerns about an individual price, it will also enable us to request from suppliers information on the costs of supplying a product.

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care