The powers in the Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Act 2017 enable the Government to reimburse for special medicinal products (also known as ‘specials’) dispensed in primary care in different ways such as considering quotes of suppliers and not reimbursing pharmacies at all if for example they have been provided the medicine by a central service. The Government is considering how to implement its powers in the 2017 Act and any proposals to implement changes will be subject to consultation with relevant stakeholders.
Further to the Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Act 2017, the Government ran a consultation on new Regulations for the provision of information about health service products. We are finalising the Regulations which are expected to be laid and come into force later this summer. The Information Regulations include requirements in relation to special medicinal products which will ensure that the Government obtains information from all manufacturers and importers. This information will make the reimbursement arrangements for the most commonly used special medicinal products more robust. However, where there are concerns about an individual price, it will also enable us to request from suppliers’ information on the costs of supplying a product.
In 2017 the Government also consulted on the Statutory Scheme to control the cost of branded medicines. Those Regulations were made under powers in the NHS Act 2006 that were amended by the Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Act 2017 and are now in force.