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Drugs: Prices

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 163554, tabled on 12 July 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to reduce the cost to the NHS of reimbursement prices for special medicinal products; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

17 July 2018

Since 2011 for the most commonly prescribed special medicinal products, known as “specials”, a reimbursement price 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, thus reducing the cost and the variation in what the National Health Service pays. Since these reimbursement arrangements were introduced in 2011 we have observed that in England the average cost for specials listed in the Drug Tariff decreased by 58% between 2011 and first quarter of 2018.

We have taken powers in the Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Act 2017, which 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. We are developing proposals, which will be subject to consultation with relevant stakeholders.

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