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UK Pharma Group Sues Health Service Over Drug Pricing

July 17, 2017

The top UK pharmaceuticals industry association is going to court to get what it considered more appropriate limits on drug prices than the cap the National Health Service (NHS) and National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) want to impose.

In April, the government moved to impose limits on medications that would cost NHS more than £20 million per year in any of the first three years of use. The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) is concerned the move will cause significant delays for patients waiting for treatment for a range of conditions, including cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

“After raising concerns about the plans and offering to work constructively on alternative proposals, the ABPI is now reluctantly seeking to challenge the NICE decisions in the courts,” the ABPI said.

The ABPI is also seeking to reverse changes to the assessment of medicines for very rare diseases, which it calls inappropriate and unworkable.

The NHS is in the midst of a funding crisis and looking for ways to cut costs, though it only spends about 10 percent of its annual budget on drugs, significantly less than other comparable health care systems in the developed world.

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