The Tories must learn from the Orkambi victory and keep drug-pricing off the table
The NHS has significant buying power, and regularly negotiates discounts,
Thought we just said that the NHS shouldn’t deal in drug pricing?
But the true stupidity is here:
Under pressure, the government admitted it had a “moral obligation” to explore providing access to cheaper versions of the drug, and Labour committed to doing so if it won power. Confronted with the real possibility that the government might break its monopoly, the public relations disaster of desperate families flying to Argentina to keep their children alive, and with an election looming, Vertex gave in and struck a deal.
The battle for Orkambi was won, but the problem is not going away. Whether it’s Trikafta, the successor drug to Orkambi, or any of the new wave of extremely expensive immunotherapy treatments for cancer, many more crucial yet overpriced drugs are coming on to the market. The country cannot be held to ransom every time the NHS needs to buy another medicine from another monopolist.
The monopoly is granted to get the spending on the development of the drug in the first place. If we don;t grant the monopolies then the development ain’t gonna take place…..