ABPI respond to proposals to change the Statutory Scheme

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has published an executive summary [1] of its consultation response to the government's proposed changes to the Statutory Scheme for branded medicines [2].

In its response, the ABPI acknowledged and broadly supported the government’s intention to bring the Statutory Scheme into alignment with the new Voluntary Scheme for Pricing Access and Growth (VPAG), which was agreed with the industry at the end of last year.

However, the industry also expressed reservations about many of the specific proposals in the consultation, some of which remain novel and untested. The ABPI stressed the importance of monitoring both schemes to allow any emerging issues to be addressed before they unduly impact patients, companies, or the wider NHS.

The ABPI also used the consultation to underline the value to both industry and government in continuing to partner through successive Voluntary Schemes, where there is the ability to enter dialogue on matters affecting the scheme to ensure it achieves its intended objectives.

There is no such means for dialogue in the Statutory Scheme consultation process, which has consistently met with strong criticism from the industry over the quality and responsiveness of the process and the robustness of the accompanying cost-benefit analysis.

David Watson, Executive Director, Patient Access, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), said: “Updating the Statutory Scheme to align with the VPAG agreement is a necessary step on the road to improving the UK’s international life science competitiveness.

“Many of these changes, especially those which seek to treat newer and older branded medicines differently, are completely new and untested. Therefore, we must take a careful and comprehensive approach to monitoring these new schemes to allow any emerging issues to be addressed before they unduly impact patients, companies, or the wider NHS.”


Last modified: 01 May 2024

Last reviewed: 01 May 2024

The ABPI exists to make the UK the best place in the world to research, develop and use new medicines. We represent companies of all sizes who invest in discovering the medicines of the future. 

Our members supply cutting edge treatments that improve and save the lives of millions of people. We work in partnership with Government and the NHS so patients can get new treatments faster and the NHS can plan how much it spends on medicines. Every day, we partner with organisations in the life sciences community and beyond to transform lives across the UK.