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Burnand gives a predictable, if disappointing, response from an industry that has done very well out of the unequivocally flawed Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme. In seeking to challenge the basic principles of value based systems, the response attempts to downgrade some instances of where such pricing has provided tangible societal benefits, while completely sidestepping other examples (such as the systems in Canada and Sweden). The dig at the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in Australia is superficial and potentially misleading, and those seeking a more balanced view of the regulation of drug prices in that country (including recent changes) would do well to look elsewhere.1 2 3 4
Reforming the pricing system in the UK will require constructive contributions from the pharmaceutical industry, for which Burnand's comments are a poor model.
Competing interests: None declared.