NHS cuts medicines costs by three quarters of a billion pounds
The NHS has saved more than £700 million from the annual medicines bill to reinvest in new treatments as part of the Long Term Plan.
An NHS-wide campaign has supported patients and doctors to maximise the use of ‘generic’ and best value ‘biologic’ treatments to treat conditions including arthritis and cancer.
New figures show that the uptake of best value medicines lowered costs to taxpayers by £294 million last year alone, on track to meet its ambitious target of a further £400 million annual savings by 2021.
A single drug – adalimumab – treatment for arthritis and other diseases, saved £110 million alone thanks to a ‘smart procurement’, after the drug came off patent at the end of 2018.
Previously adalimumab was the individual medicine on which hospitals spend the most, at a cost of more than £400 million a year.
Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, recently said:
“The NHS is one of the most efficient health services in the world but as part of the Long Term Plan, we will continue to drive changes to ensure every NHS pound is spent wisely and patients have access to innovative life changing medicines.
“Use of the best value versions of expensive medicines is already delivering effective treatment for patients across the NHS, including those with cancer, offering the right care for patients while saving the tax payer hundreds of millions of pounds.”
The savings for 2018-19 come on top of the £413 million saved from the annual medicines bill in the previous two years by maximising the use of best value generic and biologic treatments.
Taken together the savings mean the campaign to drive take-up has seen more than £700 million freed up to reinvest in other effective medicines.
NHS England has previously announced plans to accelerate and widen the uptake of best value biologic medicines in a bid to save £400 million to £500 million per year by 2020/21.
This money can be then be reinvested in other new, innovative and cost-effective treatments.
These benefits have only been possible by working closely with patients, clinical teams and NHS trusts.
The decision to switch to a best value medicine should always be done in consultation with the patient, through shared decision making.
|Medicine||Treats||2018-2019 savings delivered|
|Adalimumab best value biologic uptake||Rheumatoid diseases, dermatological and inflammatory bowel diseases||£109,668,408|
|Infliximab best value biologic uptake||Rheumatoid diseases and inflammatory bowel diseases||£31,964,413|
|Etanercept best value biologic uptake||Rheumatoid diseases||£36,077,607|
|Rituximab best value biologic uptake||Certain cancers and rheumatoid conditions||£45,174,920|
|Imatinib generic uptake||Types of cancer||£18,848,913|
|Linezolid generic uptake||Types of bacterial infection||£2,037,999|
|Valganciclovir generic uptake||Types of fungal infection||£3,833,955|
|Voriconazole generic uptake||Types of fungal infection||£6,983,219|
|Caspofungin generic uptake||Types of fungal infection||£8,485,062|
|Trastuzumab best value biologic uptake||Breast cancers||£24,254,902|
Latest News from
NHS thanks Muslim staff working through Ramadan and urges care over Eid21/05/2020 17:17:17
NHS leaders have today thanked and commended Muslim staff and key healthcare workers for serving on the frontline and in supporting roles whilst fasting during the month of Ramadan.
NHS expands offer of help to people with diabetes during coronavirus outbreak21/05/2020 09:15:00
People living with diabetes face a significantly higher risk of dying with COVID-19 with a third of deaths in England associated with the condition, according to new NHS research.
NHS Roadmap To Safely Bring Back Routine Operations15/05/2020 12:25:00
Health leaders have set out a series of measures to help local hospitals plan to increase routine operations and treatment, while keeping the necessary capacity and capability to treat future coronavirus patients.
Public told ‘act FAST’ as NHS uses artificial intelligence to speed up stroke care15/05/2020 09:15:00
The NHS is urging anyone who thinks they or a loved one have symptoms of the killer condition not be put off seeking help because of coronavirus but to ‘act FAST’.
More nurses should be coronavirus legacy says NHS chief14/05/2020 09:15:00
Nursing degree courses should be expanded to capitalise on the surge in interest in NHS careers prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said recently (12 May 2020).
More nurses should be coronavirus legacy says NHS chief13/05/2020 11:15:00
Nursing degree courses should be expanded to capitalise on the surge in interest in NHS careers prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said yesterday.
Six million more to benefit as NHS locks in the benefits of stronger partnerships12/05/2020 09:15:00
The NHS and its partners will be able to ‘lock in’ improvements to their work by putting whole-system planning at the heart of coronavirus recovery plans, the NHS’s Chief Operating Officer said yesterday.
Public called up to help the NHS ‘shine a light’ for our nurses11/05/2020 14:15:00
Nursing leaders are asking the public to ‘shine a light’ to mark International Nurses Day on Tuesday (12 May) and recognise the extraordinary work that their colleagues are doing in the fight against coronavirus.
Helping our heroes: NHS urges veterans to get help despite coronavirus outbreak08/05/2020 12:05:00
As the nation gears up to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the NHS wants all those who have served their country to know that dedicated help and support is still available despite the coronavirus outbreak.