The Price of Life
Drugs companies spend millions of pounds developing new medicines to help save or extend lives. But how much should the NHS pay for those treatments? Evan Davis and guests discuss.
It's hard to put a value on a human life. When you're well, perhaps you don't think about it. But if you're ill, getting access to the right drugs, whatever the cost, is a priority. But the NHS does not have a bottomless pit of money. And some medicines are judged too expensive to be freely available, so patients miss out on treatments that could save or extend their lives. There are usually two villains of the piece: The drugs companies for charging too much; the NHS for not stumping up the cash. In this edition, Evan Davis and guests explore how pharmaceutical companies price their drugs, the role of the NHS in deciding how much the medicines are worth and, in the case of generic or non-branded drugs, they'll ask whether competition is working properly to keep down the NHS medicines bill.
Erik Nordkamp, Managing Director, Pfizer UK
Carole Longson, Director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
Warwick Smith, Director-General, British Generic Manufacturers Association
Producer: Sally Abrahams.