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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-22040: Kezia Dugdale (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 12 March 2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on what progress is being made in increasing the role of NHS National Services Scotland in negotiating the costs of medicines, in light of the findings of the Montgomery Review of Access to New Medicines.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 18 March 2019

The Scottish Government has been discussing with public sector partners how the process by which new medicines are considered by the Scottish Medicines Consortium and the role of NHS National Services Scotland can develop to achieve better value for money when new medicines are made available on the NHS. Progress since the end of 2018 has however been slower than the Government first intended, as it has been necessary for officials and NHS partners to devote substantial time to the preparation of medicine supply contingency plans for the eventuality of a no deal UK exit from the EU. The Government hopes that it will be possible in the coming months to resume progress on this important recommendation of the Montgomery Review.

Progress however has also been made in the agreement of a new UK Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access Scheme, which commenced in January 2019. The new scheme introduced provisions that allow the UK Health Administrations to share the details of previously confidential pricing arrangements and also imposes new responsibilities on pharmaceutical companies to achieve comparable arrangements that provide an acceptable value proposition in each part of the UK.