Country Correspondents: Partha Das and Roosa Tikkanen

The National Health Service (NHS) and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry have reached a five-year deal regarding branded medicines. With the goal of keeping brand-name prescription drug costs predictable and affordable for the NHS, the industry agreed to a 2 percent cap on the growth in sales of branded medicines to the NHS. Pharmaceutical companies must repay the NHS for any spending over the cap. In turn, the NHS agreed to speed patients’ access to the latest medicines by having earlier discussions with industry representatives as well as faster health technology assessments. The NHS is expected to save nearly GBP 1 billion (USD 1.31 billion) in 2019 alone as a result of the agreement. The deal started on January 1.