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UK pharma to pay back almost 4% of sales under new deal


Nearly all companies in the UK's branded pharma industry are to pay back almost 4% of net Q1 sales to the government under a new pricing agreement, according to a Thursday announcement from the country's branded pharma trade body.

Under the new five-year voluntary Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS), the pharmaceutical industry has agreed to keep National Health Service (NHS) expenditure on branded medicines flat for two years, with industry underwriting any further expenditure within agreed boundaries.


The first year payments - including one to be made by the end of April - have been fixed at 3.74% of companies' net sales, which is the mid-point of the Department of Health and the trade body's forecasts of the rise in the 2014 drugs bill compared to the previous year.


In subsequent years, any payments will be corrected based on actual growth, according to the statement from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).


An ABPI spokesperson was unable to provide information to APM on the absolute amount paid back to the NHS this month, which is supposed to cover any overspend caused by National Health Service bodies using more expensive novel drugs.


Almost all of the UK's branded pharma industry has joined the voluntary PPRS, a pricing deal struck late last year between branded pharma and the Department of Health.


The ABPI said 134 companies, representing 93% of the UK branded industry, joined the scheme which was agreed in November last year. This compares with 88% of the UK branded industry which signed up to the last PPRS the ABPI said.


At the time of the deal being reached, the ABPI called for it to go hand-in-hand with action by the government and the NHS, to improve access to novel medicines.


ABPI chief executive, Stephen Whitehead said in today's statement: "This commitment from industry recognises that this deal provides a game-changing opportunity to improve the UK environment and address the long history of low patient usage of innovative medicines in the UK, which has been getting progressively worse over the life of the last scheme."



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