Truth in medicine

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I write in response to your ­article on the cost of new ­medicines to NHS Scotland (“New NHS drugs ‘to create £50m black hole’”, 26 February).

The whole point of the new medicines review is to improve the access to medicines for Scottish patients based on clinical judgment, and this means taking another look at some medicines that are not currently in use.

As an industry, we are acutely aware of the cost constraints that NHS Scotland operates under.

That is why the new agreement on medicine prices, the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS), allows NHS Scotland ­expenditure on branded medicines to remain flat for two years.

It is also key to note that ­medicines developed by the pharmaceutical industry provide significant cost savings to the NHS by keeping people out of hospital and helping people recover from illness so that they can return to work quicker.

I believe this new agreement has the opportunity to ­transform the treatment available to ­Scottish patients, and continue to help fight the economic burden of illness, if implemented ­appropriately.

Andrew Powrie-Smith

Association of the British Pharmaceutical
Industry (ABPI) Scotland

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