ABPI welcomes recommendations from NHS specialised services report

pharmafile | April 27, 2016 | News story | Research and Development, Sales and Marketing ABPI, NHS, NHS England, NICE, National Audit Office, report, specialised services 

The ABPI has welcomed the findings of a National Audit Office report on the commission of specialised service by NHS England.

Specialised services are provided to patients who have rare conditions or who need a specialised team working together at a centre. There are currently 146 specialised services covering a diverse range of conditions including renal, specific mental health problems and rare cancers.

The report highlights causes of concern with the way the NHS operates in this regard, saying that “NHS England underestimated the scale of the challenge of commissioning 146 specialised services.”

The report makes a series of recommendations including the need for NHS England to develop a clear vision for specialised services, to make decisions in a more streamlined and transparent fashion and manage its budget in a more sustainable way.

Reacting to the report, the ABPI indicates that new medicines developed by the pharmaceutical industry provide the opportunity to dramatically transform patient outcomes in specialised services through the prevention, treatment and cure of previously life-threatening diseases.

Paul Catchpole, director of value and access at the ABPI, comments: “As the report highlights, there are an increasing number of effective new specialised treatments becoming available, many for previously untreatable conditions.

“The ABPI wants to support the NHS in being at the forefront of improving patient care and outcomes, and supports the report’s recommendations, including the development of an overarching strategy for specialised commissioning putting in place clearer governance arrangements and a robust and more transparent decision-making process to prioritise access to treatments.

“This should help reduce variations across England in accessing treatments making it simpler for patients to get the medicines they need. The pharmaceutical industry looks forward to working with the Department of Health, NHS England and NICE on future arrangements for creating sustainable access mechanisms for new specialised medicines.”

Sean Murray

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