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Home Industry News Major Industry Players Abandon UK VPAS as Repayment Rates Escalate

Major Industry Players Abandon UK VPAS as Repayment Rates Escalate

24th January 2023

The UK’s Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access (VPAS), which was introduced on January 1st, 2019, has been abandoned by AbbVie and Lilly.

Due to the Voluntary Scheme’s perceived detrimental effects on the UK life sciences sector, the firms will now be subject to the alternative Statutory Scheme for Branded Medicines, which is enforced by law.

Businesses claim that it is now next to impossible to convince international boardrooms and investors that the UK’s voluntary programme is still viable. Flaws in the current programme have caused repayment rates to jump to 26.5% of total sales this year, leaving the UK significantly beyond historical trends and out of pace with rivals on a worldwide scale.

Manufacturers of branded medications included in the Voluntary Scheme are now being asked to repay nearly £3.3 billion in sales to the UK administration.

It has been made abundantly clear by those within this sector that the government’s Life Sciences Vision will not be realised if they can’t control these accelerating rates and bring the UK back to previous levels. As it currently stands, investment, employment, and research collaborations are leaving the UK for more favourable markets like Asia, Europe, and the United States.

In terms of the total trade balance in this market, the UK has dropped from 4th in 2010 to 98th today.

The current VPAS system is meant to act as a foundation for the Life Sciences industry, maintaining UK patient access to medical breakthroughs and assisting in handling the cost of medications. However, recently it has progressively fallen short of achieving these goals.

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