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Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 237095, tabled on 26 March 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the 2019 voluntary scheme for branded medicines pricing and access affordability mechanism, whether his Department has conducted an impact assessment on how the 36-month exemption of new medicines from contributing to the rebate scheme will effect the NHS's drug procurement Bill.

Answered on

2 April 2019

The Department analysed the potential effects of the exemptions detailed in the 2019 Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access. However, this analysis did not take the form of a published impact assessment, as that formal process is not required for the voluntary agreement.

In order to continue to support innovation and access to new medicines, the 2019 Voluntary Scheme includes a 36 month exemption from payments and freedom of pricing for new active substances (NAS). Under the previous 2014 Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme that ended on 31 December 2018, NASs also had freedom of pricing and exemption from payments, but instead for the five year duration of that scheme. This means that under the 2019 Voluntary Scheme, payments will be received by the Department once that 36-month exemption has ended, sooner than under the previous Scheme, which will then be reinvested in the National Health Service.