Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill returns to the Lords

Pills on money
27 April 2017

The Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill returned to the House of Lords on Wednesday 26 April for consideration of Commons amendments in 'ping pong'.

Members discussed a requirement for the government to promote the UK life science industry and ensure rapid access to new medicines.

Following agreement by both Houses on the text of the bill it received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017. Royal Assent is the monarch's agreement to make the bill into an Act of Parliament (law).

Consideration of Commons amendments: Wednesday 5 April

Members considered whether to insist on a change made in the Lords and rejected in the Commons, and this went to a division (a vote).

The change was to require the government to promote and support the UK life sciences sector when purchasing medicines and medical supplies. 245 members were for this change remaining in the bill with a minor alteration, and 208 were against. This meant the Lords chose to insist and the change was made.

Lords third reading: Thursday 23 February

Members discussed UK health service products and the transactions between producers.

Lords report stage: Tuesday 7 February

Members discussed access to new medicines, price control exemptions and remuneration for persons supplying special medicinal products. There were two divisions (votes) on proposed changes to the bill.

The first vote was on a change requiring the government to promote the UK life science sector and ensure rapid access to new medicines. In the division, 253 members of the Lords were for this change and 208 were against it. This meant the change to the draft law was made.

Members then discussed a change altering another member's amendment to the bill. The first amendment required the government to provide information on the costs of manufacturing or supplying products for the health service. The change that members voted on altered this so the government would have to provide information on the costs of access to manufacturing, not just the cost of manufacturing itself. In the vote, 114 were in favour and 190 were against, so this change to the original amendment was not made. The amendment on providing information on costs was then agreed without a vote.

Third reading, a chance to 'tidy up' the bill and make changes, is scheduled for 23 February.

Lords committee stage day two: Wednesday 25 January

The committee stage of this bill took place in Grand Committee, a room outside the Lords chamber. In Grand Committee, any member can take part and decisions on amendments can be made, but no votes take place.

Lords committee stage day one: Monday 23 January

Lords second reading: Wednesday 21 December

Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) bill summary

This bill will:

  • control the cost of health service medicines and other medical supplies
  • define law around pricing and other information by those manufacturing, distributing or supplying medicines and supplies

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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