Lack of clarity in drugs pricing has been branded “unacceptable” by the Health Select Committee.
The report published today (16 January 2013) criticized the Department of Health's (DH) delay in outlining how ‘value-based’ pricing will work.
In 2014 the DH will to move to a pricing system which will provide a “closer link” between the price the NHS pays and the value a medicine offers, rather than basing it on the manufacturer’s recommended price.
Committee chair, Stephen Dorrell said: “There is a lack of clarity around the whole issue which has persisted for too long.
“Decisions need to be taken, and the details of the scheme made public to avoid problems with the transition to the new system.”
MPs have given the Department of Health until the end of March this year to make “key decisions” to ensure a “smooth” changeover.
NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar said: " It is absolutely right that NICE should be given a central role in implementing the new ‘value-based’ pricing system.
"The committee is right to call on the Government to produce a clearer picture of how this new system will be implemented. We need strong evidence to show that changes to the system will deliver maximum benefit to patients, without creating significant additional costs for commissioners or taxpayers.”
This article was amended on 17 January 2013 because value-based pricing is an initiative of the Department of Health, not the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence as the original said.