Responding to the news that NICE will charge fees of up to £282,000 to assess a new medicine, Dr Paul Catchpole, Value & Access Director, ABPI, said;
"NICE is facing significant budgetary pressures whilst the demands being placed on its work programmes are increasing, but we believe that there are considerable efficiency savings that could be made to its current appraisal processes which would either eliminate the need to charge for services, or reduce the amount that has to be charged.
NICE processes also need to evolve so they are fit to properly appraise the new medicines being produced by the pharmaceutical industry, and this should happen before they consider charging. The proposed flat-fee charges are the highest ever seen from any health technology assessment organisation in the world, and the cost will be prohibitive for smaller companies and will also pose challenges for all companies in creating compelling business cases for launching medicines for smaller populations and for rarer diseases in the UK.
This has the potential to create further inequalities in access to medicines for NHS patients".