NHS England has announced savings of more than £700 million from the annual medicines bill.
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, 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.”
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.
|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|