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Home Industry News Govt urged to take action on drug cost

Govt urged to take action on drug cost

11th December 2007

The government should take action to avoid an increase in the cost of drugs following changes to the distribution system, an expert has warned.

John Fingleton, chief executive of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the government should change how it controls medicine costs, warning that otherwise the NHS could face a “substantial cost increase”.

He made his comments following news that drugs manufacturer Pfizer has agreed an exclusive deal with UniChem for supplying the NHS.

“We think those changes could very well be efficient and beneficial for consumers and the NHS, but they do require the NHS to take the lead and use its buyer power on behalf of patients and consumers and taxpayers,” he explained.

The OFT recommends the government reforms its Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme which allows firms to price their drugs in within specified but broad profit constraints.

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