These commentaries by John Macgill represent his opinions only and not those of any Ettrickburn client.

VACANCY Reporter/Researcher: Health and Care Policy in Scotland

Prescribing in Mental Illness – A Practice Pharmacist’s Perspective

What Matters to You? Communication in Pharmacy

Prescribing in Mental Illness – A Patient’s Perspective

Focusing the Vision: Dr Rose Marie Parr on the new strategy for Scottish pharmacy

All the things that could go wrong - looking ahead to the SNP conference

Ask Once, Get Help Fast? Pharmacy and Mental Health

Automation and Delegation in Pharmacy: Understanding the Moving Parts

Pharmacy First in Forth Valley One Year On

Initiatives Highlight Potential of Community Pharmacy

Trying to concentrate on the day job

Health and the Local Elections – a strange silence

The Pharmacist Will See You Now – The Growth of GP Pharmacy

Montgomery’s Review – Dr Brian Montgomery answers questions on access to new medicines in Scotland

An afternoon with SMC

Pharmacists at SMC

SMC – are drug firms voting with their feet?

Radical Surgery on the Horizon for Scotland’s NHS

The Future’s Bright – in General Practice

Community Pharmacy in a Changing Environment

Disclosing payments to doctors – has Sir Malcolm done the pharma industry a favour?

Health and Care in the First Minister’s Programme for Government

CMO: Scotland’s pharmacists “absolutely ideally placed” to practice Realistic Medicine

Profile: Maree Todd – MSP and Pharmacist

Scottish Parliament Health Committee Work Programme

Scotland’s new NHS – a Summer of Speculation

Scotland’s New Health Committee

Two million voices in Scotland – is integration the big opportunity to listen?

Medicines – levelling the playing field

Key appointment raises the bar for health & social care partnerships

What did our new MSPs do before?

SMC says no then NICE says yes – three times

SNP promises single formulary and a review of Scotland’s NHS

More Generous than the CDF – but less transparent

Comparison of Funds: New Medicines v Cancer Drugs

Bonfire of the Boards? SNP signals NHS Review

A tribute to five retiring MSPs

New Medicines Review - Health Committee sends findings to Government

Medicines New & Old in the Scottish Cancer Strategy

Great Ambitions, Slow Progress – New Models of Care in Scotland

Scottish Minsters Demand Up-Front Medicine Price Negotiation

Opportunity and Disappointment: MSPs Investigate New Medicines Access

Scottish NHS Strategy calls for 'Realistic Medicine'

The Scottish Model of Value for Medicines: Taking Everything into Consideration

When SMC Says No: An Access to Medicines Lottery

Reviewing the Review: Access to New Medicines in Scotland

A day of psephology and kidology

Insulting the Lifesavers

Worthy of Mention – Health and Science in the Honours List

News Silence from North of the Border

A Christmas PPRS Present from Pharma

Thursday, January 22, 2015: A Christmas PPRS Present from Pharma

The medicines industry is giving the NHS a cash advance to help towards meeting the 2016 drugs bill in the hope of encouraging better access to new medicines. It should mean an extra £20 million for patients in Scotland.

Under the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS), pharmaceutical companies in the UK pay back a proportion of the cost of new medicines used in the NHS back to the UK government every year.

The industry trade body and negotiator, ABPI, reveals today that it has paid the UK Treasury £619 million in 2015 under the schemei and will be restructuring its payments to bring forward to next year a further £200 million of payments originally meant to be made in 2017 and 2018.

Scotland can expect to be allocated roughly 10 pence in every pound of this.

The Scottish Government chooses to put this money into its New Medicines Fund to pay for “treatments for people with rare or end-of-life conditions”ii . In May, Health Secretary Shona Robison MSP doubled the fund for 2015-16 from £40 million to £80 million.

Ministers say that, since 2013, over 1000 Scottish patients have started treatment funded by the New Medicines Fund and its predecessor Rare Conditions Medicines Fund. They say over 800 patients benefitted from the fund in 2014-15. The most recent information given to Parliamentiii suggested that a little more than half of the £40 million allocated for that year (£21.5 million) was spent.

A more up to date figure for the number of patients that have benefited from the Fund is due to be the subject of another Written Answer in the New Year.

The negotiators of the PPRS have always seen the Scheme as being about supporting the acceptance and use of new and innovative medicines, by cushioning the impact of their use on NHS budgets.

The Scottish Government would argue that its choice to restrict this only to medicines for rare and life limiting conditions, while not a distinction made in the PPRS, is in the spirit of the agreement, which was, after all, made in London without them at the table.

Commentary on whether Scottish ministers, in addressing unmet need in rare and end of life conditions, have unwittingly created a two tier system is for another blog.

The real challenge remains for the industry and patient groups to persuade NHSScotland that by paying for rare and end of life conditions, the New Medicines Fund takes the pressure of the rest of the local NHS medicines bill, and creates an opportunity to ease some of the restrictions on access to new medicines for everything else.


iScottish Government News Release

ii Parliamentary Answer

iiiParliamentary Answer