The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has questioned the credibility of an industry expert as part of a pricing dispute, The Times reported Monday.
The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), which includes drugmakers such as AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer, have requested a judicial review of NICE's decision to impose new limits on the prices it will pay for new drugs, while the group has also requested a reversal to changes to the cost assessment of treatments for rare diseases.
NICE has argued that evidence presented by Adrian Towse, an expert from the Office of Health Economics, should be thrown out because it is "plainly not independent."
"NICE notes that the organisation for which Professor Towse works is wholly owned by the ABPI and so he is plainly not independent…NICE reserves its position as to whether Professor Towse's evidence is properly admissible," the agency remarked.
An Office of Health Economics spokeswoman admitted that the office was owned by the ABPI but explained that the group had operated independently since its creation.
Meanwhile, drugmakers are divided regarding the ABPI's decision to pursue judicial action against NICE, with overseas companies being supportive while domestic firms such as GlaxoSmithKline being opposed to the tactics despite being against the changes in pricing decisions.
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