Has the Medical Supplies (Costs) Act ever been used?

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Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

The Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Act received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017 and as of August 2017, it's provisions were in force. The Act reflected the UK government’s sensitivity to press reports that some pharmaceutical companies are charging extortionate prices for certain drugs eg liothyronine & hydrocortisone. The main purpose of the Act is to prevent pharmaceutical companies from hiking the prices of generic medicines over which they have a virtual monopoly. It is also aimed at increasing the government’s ability to control medicine prices and to collect data enabling it to do so.

It has been claimed that companies are buying the rights to old medicines, debranding them and raising their prices. They do this by exploiting both lack of competition and the medicines’ re-categorisation under the Drug Tariff, which outlines what will be paid to pharmacy contractors for NHS services provided either for reimbursement or for remuneration. The practice is estimated to cost the NHS over £260m a year

1. Has the Act ever been used to control the price of a generic medicine?

2. If yes, please provide details of which drug companies were affected, and which of their drugs.

3. If yes, please provide details of how this control was enforced.

Yours faithfully,

E Barron

Department of Health and Social Care

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Department of Health and Social Care

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Barron,

Please find attached the Department of Health and Social Care's response
to your recent FOI request (our ref: FOI-1202173  ) 

Yours sincerely,

 Jane Spencer 

Freedom of Information team
Department of Health and Social Care

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