The ABPI has questioned the amount of money the NHS spends on new and innovative medicines.
A new forecast from the Office of Health Economics shows spending on innovative branded medicines is set to shrink over the next three years.
Stephen Whitehead, Chief Executive of the ABPI, said the decline is “bad news” for the discovery of future life saving drugs and “ultimately the health and wellbeing of UK patients.”
Research found that the total amount spent on the NHS is actually set to rise by 2.5% annually until 2015. However, expenditure during that time on new branded medicines will rise by just 1.3%.
There will be a very slight increase in the growth of the total amount spent on medicines each year by the NHS from 3.5% to 3.7% per year until 2015 – driven mainly by an increase in the amount of generics purchased.
But, research found, spending on medication launched between 2012 and 2015 will account for less than 2% of overall spending on medicines.
“This report spells out the very good value for money that the NHS derives from our medicines and shows the system is achieving huge savings from medicines coming off patent,” said Stephen Whitehead.
“But I am deeply concerned that these savings are not being reinvested back into the system because these figures show our spending on the newest and most advanced medicines is declining in real terms.”
The ABPI CEO also called for a change in thinking by the NHS around medication where drugs are seen as an investment and not expenditure.
“Looking ahead, as we start to prepare for negotiations with Government on the next medicines pricing scheme, we need to see our medicines rewarded for the high risk and cost of research and development,” he said. “And once medicines are ready for use by patients, we want them available on the NHS as quickly as possible so as many patients as possible can reap the health benefits.”