A report of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Access to Medicines and Medical Devices

All Party Parliamentary Group (APPGs) presents a case for change.

Members of UK parliament have called on the pharmaceutical industry to do more to make sure its medicines get to patients, including 'demystifying' pricing and improving the way it gathers and presents data to the health technology appraisal body NICE.

The new APPG report provides a series of recommendations aimed at feeding into the upcoming NICE methods review – as well as suggestions for future research and work in the wider medicines-access landscape. In July 2019, NICE confirmed details of its plans to review the methods it uses to develop guidance on drugs, medical devices and diagnostics.

Drugmakers should show “greater willingness to demystify the process by which a product secures a list price. This would be a significant step towards meeting the system half way and encouraging earlier approval.”

The group’s primary concern is with “the justification of public list prices” noting the discounts that companies usually offer should remain confidential. Such discounts often exceed 50%, according to the report. The report acknowledges that other European countries reference UK prices and that this has an impact on pricing strategies. Nevertheless, it says that the way medicines are priced for the UK market is “often opaque.”

The APPG gathered written and oral evidence, hearing from over 50 individuals and organizations from across the life science sector.

All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) are informal cross-party groups that have no official status within the UK Parliament. They are run by and for Members of the Commons and Lords, though many choose to involve individuals and organizations from outside Parliament in their administration and activities.