UK: Will Companies Remaining In Voluntary Payment Scheme End Up With A Bigger Bill?
Uncertainty over the payments that will be due from companies to manage the branded medicines bill in 2023 and beyond has been a cause for concern for firms, which last month had to decide whether to remain in or exit the Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access. If many companies have left, the “remainers” might end up paying more than their fair share, though the government has offered some assurance on this front.
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In 2022, a total of five companies chose to exit the UK’s voluntary scheme that manages branded medicines spending. The departure of two big firms – AbbVie and Lilly – is seen as a deliberate tactic to send a clear signal to government that the scheme is not working for industry and is jeopardizing investment and access to medicines in the UK.
Lilly says the current voluntary drug pricing and access scheme has harmed innovation and left the UK a “global outlier” among major countries, while AbbVie asserts that this year’s repayment rate of 26.5% will impair its ability to operate sustainably in the country. The industry body, the ABPI, says it will come up with proposals for a “completely new settlement” in the coming months.
The UK government says that payments need to rise if the stability of the statutory and voluntary drug pricing schemes is to be ensured.