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NICE research misses the point of healthcare funding

Responding to the publication of Methods for the estimation of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence cost-effectiveness threshold by the Centre for Health Economics, Paul Catchpole, ABPI’s Director of Value and Access, says the research “is likely to be of some academic interest but should not be used as a basis for policy or decision making.”

Paul Catchpole, ABPI’s Director of Value and Access, said:

“This report is likely to be of some academic interest but should not be used as a basis for policy or decision making. It misses a fundamental point about how NHS investment decisions are made. Very few healthcare decisions are made using the QALY alone and in reality a wide range of other factors are used for decision making. A study commissioned by the ABPI* demonstrated that investment decisions made by local NHS organisations generally do not take into account the QALY. If a threshold of £13,000 were applied to decisions about all healthcare interventions then many vital services would cease to be considered viable including A&E, palliative care for dying patients and maternity services for new borns and their mothers.

“Life-enhancing and life-saving medicines cost money to develop and produce. However, as an industry, we are acutely aware of the cost pressures that the NHS operates under. That is why, via the pharmaceutical pricing agreement (PPRS), the industry is underwriting all medicines expenditure by the NHS over agreed levels, providing a unique opportunity to increase the availability and use of the best new and most innovative medicines, at minimal additional cost. In 2014 the pharmaceutical industry paid the Department of Health £229 million under this scheme. This year we are anticipating company payments to the Department of Health under this scheme to be approximately £800 million – and over the total five-year life of the scheme £4 billion.

“We would agree that the development of the Cancer Drugs Fund has been nothing more than a sticking plaster to fix a broken process and we firmly believe that NICE and NHSE need to change the way that medicines are evaluated and funded in order to create a system that is more responsive to provide timely access for all NHS patients to the new medicines that are being developed by the pharmaceutical industry. We are committed to working with all stakeholders to create this system and help the NHS deliver world-class healthcare where the right patient gets the right medicine at the right time.”


Source: Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)