Bio/pharmaceutical companies in the United Kingdom have recently been struggling to convince the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) that their products are worth the price. “Although obinutuzumab is a clinically effective treatment, there were too many uncertainties in the company’s submission and we cannot be confident that it is an effective use of NHS resources”1. The preceding statement from NICE chief executive, Andrew Dillon, refers to the UK watchdog’s recent negative ruling on Roche’s leukemia drug. Headlines such as this one are not new and are becoming more prevalent in the press. To add to this challenge, recent reports concerning Gilead’s blockbuster Hepatitis drug, Sovaldi (sofosbuvir), suggests that even if a product is truly innovative and deemed to be cost-effective, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the government will be able or willing to pay for it.

If getting a positive recommendation from NICE under the standard cost-effectiveness assessment system wasn’t challenging enough, manufacturers have also had to contend with continuous discussions regarding the UK’s transition to value-based pricing (VBP) and value-based assessments (VBA) models. The UK’s pharmaceutical market has been in a state of flux in recent years, leaving manufacturers to question what it will take to ensure success. This article takes a closer look at some of the recent developments in the UK pharmaceutical market, with a focus on pricing and reimbursement challenges and strategies manufacturers should consider for sustainable success.

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