In a new press release, the NHS has stated they have saved £1.2bn on life-changing medications by securing cost-effective deals.
The NHS has announced that through negotiations, they have saved £1.2bn in taxpayer money on groundbreaking medications in just over three years. Notably, in an NHS deal where they secured a lower-cost version of adalimumab, a medication that treats more than 45,000 patients, account for around one-third of the savings.
NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard said: “Smart deals by the NHS mean patients are getting the best medicines and taxpayers are getting the best value.
“The NHS has once again shown our commercial power to secure cutting-edge treatments for patients while freeing up £1.2 billion of taxpayers’ money, through negotiating better prices for high volumes of branded and non-branded drugs – ensuring that our frontline staff have the necessary medicines to support high-quality patient care wherever you live.
Securing unbranded medications to save costs
The tactics used by the NHS are securing generic versions of branded medications and, by doing this, have saved £1.2bn. The NHS is now requiring suppliers to hold extra medication stock on UK soil, allowing healthcare practices to benefit from quick access.
In 2018, an exclusive patient of Humira medication expired, leading to the NHS securing a cost-efficient deal bulk-buying generic versions. The unbranded medication offers the same quality, safety and efficacy as the branded alternative.
Since 2018, the NHS have struck cost-saving deals by purchasing cheaper, generic versions of medications for conditions like skin infections and blood cancers.
Blake Dark, NHS Commercial Medicines Director, said: “We are committed to providing our doctors and nurses with the medicines they need to treat patients in every setting. These figures demonstrate that we are continuing to do just that, while also meeting our responsibility to provide taxpayer value for money.
“The NHS provides medicines for more than 55 million people, requiring us to secure millions of tablets, injections and infusions, and enabling us to use our substantial commercial buying power to drive deals that deliver substantial savings for the health service”.
Broadening the scope of life-saving new treatments
Alongside the cost-saving benefits, the NHS has secured life-changing treatments, such as the life-saving gene therapy Libmeldy which treats metachromatic leukodystrophy, and the one-shot spinal muscular atrophy jab, Zolgensma.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “This is excellent news for patients and taxpayers – providing life-changing treatments at a fair price while securing the best possible value for money.
“The UK is once again at the forefront of giving people early access to the latest cutting-edge medicines”.
David Webb, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England, said: “Thank you to clinical staff, including pharmacy colleagues up and down the country, and colleagues from national patient organisations who, working together, are enabling the health service to deliver the objectives of providing high quality, safe patient care from our investment in medicines as well as value for taxpayers.
“We are also delivering on programmes to ensure we are responsible prescribers, using medicines safely and effectively, and with appropriate review, to continue to improve patient outcomes”.