NHS Finance

26.11.18

NHS to save record £300m on biosimilar drugs deal

The NHS is set to make its biggest saving from a single drug negotiation in its history after negotiating deals on low cost versions of its most expensive drug.

As announced by Simon Stevens today, the NHS has negotiated deals with five manufactures for ‘biosimilar’ versions of adalimumab which will save £300m for the health service.

The figure is double the previous estimates and is enough to pay for 11,700 community nurses, or 19,800 breast cancer treatments.

The deal means that hospitals should pay around a quarter of the £400m they currently spend on adalimumab which is used to treat severe hospital treated conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

NHS England’s chief executive said: “Harnessing the power of competition between drug companies, NHS England has now freed up hundreds of millions of pounds of savings to reinvest in patient care.

“By working with patients and frontline clinicians, we’ve now successfully negotiated the biggest ever set of savings on what was the NHS’s most costly drug.

He said this was part of the NHS’s long-term plan of ensuring every penny of investment is “wisely spent.”

“This is another example of how the smarter approach to biosimilar medicines in the UK and Europe gives patients and taxpayers a much better deal than they get in the United States.”

NHS England accepted bids from four companies who manufacture biosimilar versions of the medicine alongside the original supplier, and this will mean it is on course to deliver its ambition to cut £300m from the nation’s annual medicines bill by 2021.

More than 46,000 patients are currently being prescribed the drug, and biosimilar versions are expected to be available from December.

NHS England has issued guidance to trusts and CCGs telling them that nine out of 10 patients should be started on the best value medicine following the launch.

Image credit - sturti

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