The private sector produces nearly all the medicines and vaccines available to us. Companies need to make a profit – and a return – on global investment in order to maintain investment in the next generation of medicines.
When setting the price of an individual medicine, companies will consider a number of factors including how well the medicine treats patients, how many patients might benefit from it, the value that health systems might place on a medicine in the disease area in question and the price of competing products.
Medicines and vaccines are some of the most important ways we have to fight disease on a global scale and keep people fit and healthy.
The UK has robust measures in place to ensure that medicines and vaccines are both clinically and cost effective before they can be used in the NHS.
The UK has a number of different mechanisms for ensuring value for money and cost control in the NHS. In addition to NICE which evaluates cost-effectiveness, the Pharmaceutical Pricing Regulation Scheme (PPRS) helps controls the amount the NHS spends on new medicines.
Find out about the life cycle of a medicine and how, once a new medicine is no longer covered by a patent, it can be manufactured and sold cheaply by any company around the world as a generic.
The UK is a world leader in pharmaceutical research and development, and it is vital that NHS patients are able to access the latest treatments as fast as patients in other countries.