Westminster Health Forum

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Priorities for medicine access, supply and pricing in the UK

Morning, Tuesday, 23rd April 2024


This conference will assess priorities for medicines access, supply and pricing in the UK.


It follows the publication of the 2024 Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing, Access and Growth (VPAG) agreement between the DHSC, NHS England and ABPI.


Launching in January 2024, the five-year scheme aims to control expenditure on branded medicines, support financial sustainability in the NHS, promote better patient outcomes, and boost growth in the UK life sciences industry. However, concerns have been raised by generic manufacturers about the potential impact of the new agreement on the supply of generic medicines in the UK. 


Stakeholders and policymakers will assess the impact of the VPAG scheme on different stakeholders, looking at approaches for improving patient access to the latest medicines and treatments, with discussion on price control mechanisms, developing targets and monitoring progress, transparency and public engagement, and identifying potential challenges for medicines supply and affordability.


It will also be an opportunity to discuss the way forward for delivering growth and innovation in the UK life sciences industry, including implications of VPAG on the economy, future outlook for patient access to advanced medicinal products as the scheme commits to exploring innovative payment models, and developing frameworks for dynamic collaborations between government and industry.


Further sessions will discuss current medicine shortages across the UK, options for mitigating the impact of shortages, tackling issues of medicines availability across the global supply chain, strategies to strengthen supply and resilience, and safeguarding the supply of generic medicines in the UK.


We are pleased to be able to include a keynote session with David Watson, Executive Director of Patient Access, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry; Kim Assender, Director of Commercial Policy and Analysis, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry; and Anusha Foy, Partner and Head of Life Sciences Regulatory Solutions Practice at KPMG.


Overall, sessions in the agenda include:  

  • VPAG: key implications for industry, patients and value for money in the NHS - resources, infrastructure and investment needed for successful delivery - priority areas for scheme implementation
  • progress: identifying areas for improving patient outcomes - transparency - assessing options for monitoring to track and evaluate progress - coordinating policy to drive investment and innovation
  • finance: assessing the financial sustainability of NHS spending on medicines through price control mechanisms - the medicines sales growth cap - pricing of newer and older medicines and exemptions 
  • patient outcomes: approaches for improving patient access to medication and treatment - examining what the VPAG scheme means for patient accessibility to innovative medicines - addressing inequalities
  • medicines supply: addressing and mitigating medicine shortages - options for tackling key issues in the supply chain - building resilience and stability across the supply chain - continuity in patient care
  • technology and innovation:
    • utilising latest technology and data-driven approaches, such as the Patient Support Programme - potential benefits for improving patient access to novel treatments and management
    • assessing the outlook for advanced therapy medicinal products, regulatory pathways and payment models - priorities for delivering commitments to supporting innovative approaches
  • life sciences: coordinating policy to support investment and attract product launches to the UK - the role of VPAG in the economic growth of the UK life sciences industry - boosting the UK’s international competitiveness in the life sciences sector

The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who are due to attend from DHSC; DoH, NI; MHRA; UKHSA; DBT; Department for the Economy, NI; GLD; HM Treasury; and the Welsh Government.



Keynote Speakers

David Watson

Executive Director, Patient Access, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry

Kim Assender

Director of Commercial Policy and Analysis, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry

Anusha Foy

Partner, Head of Life Sciences Regulatory Solutions Practice, KPMG

Elizabeth Hampson

Partner, Deloitte

Keynote Speakers

Anusha Foy

Partner, Head of Life Sciences Regulatory Solutions Practice, KPMG

David Watson

Executive Director, Patient Access, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry

Elizabeth Hampson

Partner, Deloitte

Kim Assender

Director of Commercial Policy and Analysis, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry

Chairs

Rt Hon the Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (1999 - 2003)

Rt Hon Lord Lansley

former Secretary of State for Health (2010 - 2012)

Speakers

Professor Zaheer-Ud-Din Babar

Professor in Medicines and Healthcare, University of Huddersfield

Dr Scott Purdon

Head of Patient Advocacy, Myeloma UK

Yousaf Ahmad

ICS Chief Pharmacist and Director of Medicines Optimisation, Frimley Health and Care Integrated Care System

Alison Dennis

Partner, Taylor Wessing

Diane DiGangi Trench

Country Head and General Manager, Sandoz UK & Ireland

Leela Barham

Health Economics Researcher and Writer; and Senior Lecturer, University of South Wales