Pharma to pay NHS Scotland £70m to fund new treatments

The ABPI has announced that the pharmaceutical industry will give the NHS Scotland £70 million, or £1 million a week, to fund new medicines.

medicine and piggy bank on see-saw

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has announced that the National Health Service (NHS) Scotland will receive £70 million from pharmaceutical companies to keep medicine costs under control.

This unique agreement offers the NHS predictability when it comes to purchasing branded medicine”

According to the ABPI, the scheme will mean that the NHS Scotland will get about £1 million a week from pharma businesses over the course of the financial year 2019/20.

The voluntary agreement, between the industry and government, works by ensuring that the UK-wide NHS bill for branded medicines cannot grow by more than two percent in any year of the scheme, effectively capping the bill and stabilising prices. 

Anything above the cap will be paid back by pharmaceutical companies to the UK government and apportioned across the country. The Scottish government ring-fences this money for spending on innovative new treatments through their New Medicines Fund.  

The ABPI highlights that the previous voluntary scheme delivered £258 million back to the NHS Scotland over five years, from 2014-2019.

Speaking about the scheme, ABPI Scotland Director Alison Culpan said: “This unique agreement offers the NHS predictability when it comes to purchasing branded medicine and I can’t think of another industry doing more to keep NHS finances in check.

“Thanks to the industry payment, which returns £1 million a week to NHS Scotland, hundreds of patients are able to access life-saving treatments through the New Medicines Fund. This is a great deal for both the NHS and patients across Scotland.”