agreed its approach to the Legislative Consent Memorandum on the Health Service
Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill at its meeting on 6 December 2016.
The legislative consent
memorandum can be found here.
The Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill
The House of Commons Library briefing
on the Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill states
that the Bill intends to make a number of amendments to the National
Health Service Act 2006 on matters related to the control of medicine prices.
The prices of the sale of NHS branded
medicines is regulated in the UK through two schemes, the voluntary
Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS) and a Statutory Scheme, both of
which use measures to control the prices of branded medicines. Manufacturers
and suppliers of NHS branded medicines can choose to sign up to the PPRS or
will automatically fall under the control of the Statutory Scheme for their
branded medicines. The prices of unbranded generic medicines are not
controlled, competition within the market is relied upon to control prices.
The provisions within the Bill intend
to address a number of concerns that the UK Government has expressed relating
to medicines pricing. These include that the Statutory Scheme is providing
lower savings for the NHS than the PPRS and the two schemes should be more
aligned; and that a number of single source unbranded generic medicines
manufacturers have recently been able to significantly increase prices, often
by over 1000%.
The Bill would seek to provide powers
for the UK Secretary of State for Health to:
make changes to the statutory scheme to make it more aligned with the PPRS;
control the prices of unbranded generic medicines; and
require all medicines manufacturers and suppliers to provide information
relating to prices.
The Legislative Consent Memorandum
The LCM was lodged by the
Scottish Government. The relevant
provisions that triggered the LCM relate to amendments tabled by Mr Philip
Dunne MP, Minister of State at the Department of Health. The LCM seeks consent
from the Scottish Parliament in relation to these amendments which extend the
information gathering powers in the Bill to the devolved administrations. The
original clause only applied to England.
The purposes for which the UK Government can collect
information involve three areas: cost and pricing schemes, reimbursement of
pharmacies and GPs, and assessing value for money. The clause provides the
Secretary of State with the power to request any information for the purposes
set out in the Bill and the amendments would enable the Secretary of State to do
this for the whole of the UK and share information with a range of bodies,
including Scottish Ministers and NHS National Services Scotland.
It has been agreed between the
administrations that the UK Secretary of State would collect information from
manufacturers and wholesalers across the UK, while the devolved administrations
would collect information from pharmacies and GPs in their own area.
The Committee has agreed to issue a targeted call for views on the Legislative Consent
Memorandum on the Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill.
The closing date for responses to the
call for views was Tuesday 20th December. Responses were emailed to
The full call for views can be
The Committee recieved six written submissions in response to the call for review, these can be read below:
Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) (30KB pdf)
British Medical Association (BMA) (21KB pdf)
Community Pharmacy Scotland (22KB pdf)
Health Improvement Scotland (22KB pdf)
Royal Pharmaceutical Society (22KB pdf)
Royal College of General Practitioners (22KB pdf)
At its meeting on 17 January 2017 the Committee held an oral evidence session
with the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport on the LCM. Following this evidence session the Committee recommended that the Parliament agrees to a legislative consent motion in the
terms outlined in the memorandum.
On 7 February 2017 the Parliament agreed, without division, that motion S5M-03631, in the name of Shona Robison, on the Health Services Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill be agreed to.