Pharmaceutical Drugs

In response to the campaign on the cost of pharmaceutical drugs to the NHS, David said:

"The Government is committed to paying a fair price for medicines used in the NHS. Where companies exploit the NHS by charging higher prices, this money cannot be spent elsewhere on patient care.

The Government has recently legislated to ensure that high prices of generic medicines can be better controlled. This action reflects the Government’s determination to ensure that no pharmaceutical company can charge unjustifiably high prices for medicines used in the NHS.

In 2016, the Secretary of State for Health asked the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to urgently look into whether pharmaceutical companies are exploiting the NHS by increasing their prices. The CMA have fined companies that have been found to be  charging excessive prices and the Department of Health continues to work closely with the CMA on further investigations into the pharmaceutical sector.

The Government also works with the pharmaceutical industry on a range of issues, including the pricing of new medicines, through mechanisms such as the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme. This scheme is a voluntary agreement between the Government and pharmaceutical industry which controls the costs of branded medicines sold to the NHS.

The Government also commissioned the Accelerated Access Review which has set out a range of ways we can improve and speed up access to the latest treatments, but do so affordably for the NHS. You may also be interested to know that the Government is running a public consultation into medicines which should not be routinely prescribed in primary care, in order to assess areas in which the NHS has been spending money on expensive, and clinically ineffective medicines.

Through measures such as this, the Government is taking action to ensure drugs represent value for money to the NHS and the UK taxpayer."

More information about the campaign can be found here.

NHS Takeback Campaign

In response to the NHS Takeback campaign, David said:

"The NHS is a crucial part of the United Kingdom and the Government is dedicated to protecting it and its values. Ministers have guaranteed that it will always provide treatment free at the point of need, regardless of the ability to pay. The Government will not privatise the NHS.

I welcome the Government’s commitment to increase NHS spending in England by a minimum of £8 billion in real terms over the next five years. This will enable the NHS to implement its ‘Five Year Forward View’ plan in order to further improve health care in the future.

The focus throughout the NHS is to provide the highest quality of care to patients. This is why competition between public and private providers in the NHS acts only as a means to an end in improving services for patients, never as an end in itself.

The use of private providers and the voluntary sector in the delivery of NHS services is not a new concept. The Labour Government between 1997 and 2010 introduced the independent sector and competition into the NHS. The use of private providers in the NHS represents just over seven pence in every pound the NHS spends, an increase of just two and a half pence in the pound since 2010, and a slower rate of growth than under Labour."

More information about the campaign can be found here.