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High Court dismissed BGMA’s claim on being excluded from VPAS negotiation

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The High Court has dismissed the British Generic Manufacturers Association (BGMA)‘s claim on being excluded from ongoing negotiations between the government and industry to agree a new Voluntary Scheme for medicine pricing and access (VPAS).

The association had sought a judicial review of the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) decision to negotiate a new Voluntary Scheme for branded medicines with the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) in April.

Commenting on the result of the case, Richard Torbett, Chief Executive of the ABPI said: “For over 60 years the ABPI has acted as the representative industry body for negotiations on the Voluntary Scheme for branded medicines – a responsibility we take extremely seriously – and one which has been reaffirmed by today’s judgment.

“While we were disappointed that the BGMA decided to take this action – we recognise their decision was driven by the extreme challenge placed on all parts of the industry from the surge in the branded medicine payment rates.

“The solution to these problems must be a completely new and sustainable approach to medicines provision in the UK which rapidly brings industry revenue payments in line with comparator countries to unlock investment and growth.”

Earlier while seeking judicial review Mark Samuels, Chief Executive of BGMA commented: “The Government has decided not to involve the trade body representing these medicine suppliers in its negotiations on the voluntary scheme for branded medicine pricing (VPAS).

“We are deeply concerned by this decision. It has left us no choice but to take legal action.”

“While not all generic drugs fall within VPAS, four out of ten products in the current scheme are branded generics or biosimilars. As the representative trade body for both generic and biosimilar UK manufacturers, we must play a full part in the VPAS negotiations for the next period of the scheme from 2024 to 2028.”

“The VPAS tax has risen five-fold in under two years, an unprecedented tax increase. Yet our sector currently has no input into the negotiations on future schemes or rates; this is untenable as any decisions made on VPAS could significantly define the future of our sector in the UK and its ability to supply the NHS.

He also stated: “We also do not believe ABPI – who are the only party with whom the Government currently negotiates – can adequately represent or balance the interests of the off-patent sector in these negotiations.”

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