BIA submission to the Labour Health and Social Care Commission

The BIA has submitted views to the Labour Party's Health and Social Care Commission to inform its policy development. 

In our submission, we said:

  • The UK has a thriving life sciences sector, which has always worked in partnership with universities and the NHS to develop and deliver new medicines to patients, as well as providing high-quality well paid jobs for people across the UK
  • We welcome the Labour Party’s commitment to ensure NHS patients get fast access to the most effective new drugs and treatments, and agree that the service should get value for money from pharmaceutical companies
  • There are systemic barriers to achieving Labour’s ambition that will need to be overcome. Traditional cost-effectiveness measures – such as Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) used by NICE – are inappropriate for rare and ultra-rare medicines owing to small patient populations, meaning these patients do not have adequate access. The evaluation of orphan and ultra-orphan medicines should put patients’ needs front and centre and take a holistic approach to value.
  • Ministers should be accountable for ensuring equitable access to medicines for patients with rare and ultra-rare conditions
  • Investment in the discovery, development and manufacture of new medicines is made possible by the UK’s strong IP regime. Undermining confidence by reducing or circumventing IP protection will result in lower investment and fewer new medicines for patients desperately in need
  • Frictionless and tariff-free trade is essential to ensure patients in the NHS and around the world can have access to medicines
  • The BIA sees this submission as the beginning of the conversation and would welcome more in-depth discussions with members of the commission

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