What is the voluntary scheme for branded medicines pricing and access?

by Odelle Technology

The Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access in the UK is now presenting from senior industry executives in a recent article in 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘗𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘤𝘦𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘑𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘢𝘭.

Comments along the lines of “Why would you trial a medicine in a country where you might not ultimately gain access for those drugs? It’s not ethical to do [trials] if you don’t think you can get reimbursement in that country.”  “Decisions for 2024 to 2025 are being taken in global boardrooms now and we need more than rhetoric to know we are being heard. We are hoping for that before the summer because those decisions will be locked in from June and July.”

Véronique Walsh, General Manager of Gilead Sciences UK and Ireland, concurred: “The current VPAS rebate rate leaves the UK as an outlier compared to the lower rates in other countries. This is a real risk to inward investment, the UK’s place as a life science destination, and, importantly, threatens our ability to get the latest medicines to UK patients. If innovation is not established in a country, it becomes more difficult to bring the next generation of therapies into trials, and therefore patients will wait longer for new treatments.”

Haran Maheson, Commercial Lead for Oncology at Daiichi-Sankyo, said: “NICE appraisal is quite challenging in itself. With #VPAS added on, the whole ecosystem is becoming more punitive. It could mean discussions and decisions about not launching in the UK, just providing [new medicines] privately and with free of charge programmes if there is unmet need.”

A spokesperson for Bayer #UK told 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘗𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘤𝘦𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘑𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘢𝘭: “Many of these business decisions, including on personnel and our commercial footprint in the UK, cannot be easily or quickly reversed … If high payment rates continue, there is the very real risk of further #disinvestment in the sector, which will be very difficult to unwind.”

A statement from Takeda said: “The life sciences sector is globally competitive, and the declining shares of the UK’s global research and development spend, as well as clinical trial activity that we are seeing, alongside the significantly higher repayment rates in comparison to similar clawback mechanisms in other countries, is undermining the UK’s ability to attract inward investment.

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