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Medicines value programme launched by NHS England

What do we know about NHS England’s medicines value programme?

NHS England has set up a programme aimed at improving outcomes while keeping medicines costs affordable.

The programme is said to follow on from Next steps on the NHS five year forward view and the Carter report. It is made up of four strands:
the policy framework, which governs access to and pricing of medicines within the NHS, working with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
commercial arrangements that influence price, including the work of NHS England’s Commercial Medicines Unit, and its commercial team. The NHS is said to be significantly increasing its commercial capacity and capability in this area
optimising the use of medicines, through the four regional medicines optimisation committees (RMOCs), improving patient information, making best use of pharmacists and pharmacy technician clinical skills, supporting the anti-microbial resistance campaign, increasing the use of best value biological, biosimilar and generic medicines, reducing the use of medicines that are not clinically-effective or cost-effective, and implementing incentives for medicines optimisation in specialised services
developing the infrastructure, across secondary and primary care to maximise the potential benefits of digital technology in managing medicines

NHS England chief pharmaceutical officer Dr Keith Ridge said the RMOCs first priority was implementing NHS England policies designed to increase the use of biosimilars.

Dr Ridge described the programme and some of its elements at a conference on biosimilars. A video of the speech is available on YouTube.

Further information

NHS England: Medicines value programme

YouTube: Biosimilars in the NHS event: Keith Ridge, chief pharmaceutical officer, NHS England