In a new snapshot survey of leading pharmaceutical businesses in the UK, companies have said that changes to the way the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and NHS England (NHSE) assess new medicines coming in to effect today (April 1, 2017), will decrease access to the latest treatments, with new medicines for cancer set to be impacted the most.
New measures are being implemented despite widespread condemnation from patient groups, research charities and the medicines cost-effectiveness watchdog NICE’s founding clinical and public Health Director.
The view that European Union launch of new medicines will be prioritized over the UK is particularly stark, not just considering existing Brexit uncertainty, but also bearing in mind of the fact that we already have a situation in the UK that means just 17 NHS patients would typically be on the NICE-recommended medicines in the first year, compared to 100 patients in France, Spain and Germany. We also know it takes almost half as longer in England to make a decision on patient access to rare disease medicines than it does in Italy and France, with patients getting immediate access in Germany.
The survey of member companies of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), who deliver 80% of the most innovative medicines used by the NHS, asked questions relating to introduction of a £20 million ($25 million) Budget Impact Test and changes to the Highly Specialized Treatments (HST) program.
When asked about the impact of the Budget Impact Test:
Billed by the NHS as measures that will “significantly speed up access for the most promising and cost effective new technologies,” when asked, no pharmaceutical company said it believed either the Budget Impact Test or changes to the HST program would increase access to new cost effective medicines.
The government’s own competitiveness indicators, highlight how the UK is already slow to take up the use of new medicines. 17 NHS patients would typically be on NICE-recommended medicines in the first year, compared to 100 patients in comparative countries including France, Spain and Germany. It takes the UK five years to reach half the level of medicines being used in Europe.
New research by the Office for Health Economics on behalf of Shire, published last week, shows it takes 27.6 months in England to make a decision on patient access to rare disease medicines (a subset of which are assessed through the Highly Specialized Treatments program), compared to 19.5 months in France, 18.6 months in Italy and immediate access in Germany.
ABPI chief executive Mike Thompson said:“The day after the NHS announces plans to a deliver a cancer diagnosis in just four weeks, these measures introduce the prospect of a three-year delay for 20% of new cost effective medicines.This means thousands of patients who stand to benefit the most, particularly those with cancer, will miss out on the very latest medical breakthroughs.
He continued: “The evidence on access to new medicines is overwhelming, patients in England are already getting a bad deal, and as we head towards Brexit we should be catching up with Europe, not introducing measures that mean we’ll fall further behind.In the face of widespread condemnation from patients and charities, the pharmaceutical industry is loud and clear in calling for the government to step-in and deliver upon their Manifesto commitment to increase the use of cost effective medicines.”
Apr 03, 2017 0