OFT drug purchase proposals could give NHS more influence over research priorities, says The King's Fund

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The King's Fund today welcomed the Office of Fair Trading's review of the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS).

The King's Fund chief executive Niall Dickson said:

'This is the first systematic review of the PPRS in its 50 years of existence. The OFT's proposals could mean a radical change in the way we work with the industry and assess its value both to the NHS and society as a whole. The report's conclusions will need careful consideration.

'It has never been clear whether the claimed benefits of the PPRS in terms of higher levels of research and development in this country have been worth the higher prices the NHS pays for branded drugs.

'And in all this we do need to ensure that we strike a balance between valuing an industry which is of immense importance to the national economy and ensuring we do enough to encourage innovation, while at the same time delivering value for money.'

Notes to editors

1. For further information or interviews, please contact the King’s Fund media and public relations office on 020 7307 2585, 020 7307 2632 or 020 7307 2581. An ISDN line is available for interviews on 020 7637 0185.

2. The King’s Fund is an independent charitable foundation working for better health, especially in London. We carry out research, policy analysis and development activities, working on our own, in partnerships, and through funding. We are a major resource to people working in health and social care, offering leadership development programmes; seminars and workshops; publications; information and library services; and conference and meeting facilities.