Sir Hugh Taylor has been appointed as Chief Negotiations Adviser for the voluntary scheme for branded medicines pricing and access (VPAS).

  • Sir Hugh Taylor has been appointed to the role of Chief Negotiations Adviser for the negotiation of the successor to the VPAS
  • In his role, Sir Hugh will oversee the negotiations for the government and NHS on a successor to the 2019 VPAS, which expires at the end of 2023
  • Sir Hugh brings with him extensive health system expertise, and experience working with industry partners on health and life science priorities

Sir Hugh Taylor has been appointed to oversee the negotiations for a successor scheme to the VPAS that provides investment in patient access to medicines and wider NHS services while supporting the life sciences industry.

VPAS aims to improve patient access to medicines by getting the best value and most effective medicines into use for people in the UK as quickly as possible. It also keeps the branded medicine bill affordable for the NHS by capping the growth of branded medicine sales and supports innovation and a successful life sciences industry in the UK.

Sir Hugh, who chaired the Accelerated Access Review in 2014 to bring innovative technologies to the NHS, will oversee the negotiations – which are likely to start in spring and conclude this autumn – between the government and the pharmaceutical industry to agree a mutually beneficial scheme which will come into force when the current one expires at the end of 2023.

In his new role as Chief Negotiations Adviser, Sir Hugh will help to ensure successful delivery of these objectives by guiding the government’s strategic approach to the negotiations, and engaging with industry leaders.

Sir Hugh has experience in a broad range of health roles, including as former chair of Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trusts, chair of the Health Foundation and trustee of Cicely Saunders International.

Health Minister Will Quince said:

The appointment of Sir Hugh Taylor is a very positive step. He brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise which will benefit the negotiations and ensure we continue to get the best outcome for patients, the UK life sciences sector and the taxpayer.

We look forward to working with the sector to ensure a new voluntary scheme continues to deliver improvements in patients accessing clinically and cost-effective medicines, promotes innovation in the UK economy, while protecting NHS finances.

The department has already been engaging with industry to enable a mutual understanding of the impact of the current voluntary scheme on the different organisations represented, and to discuss the potential objectives and priorities for a new voluntary scheme.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) held a series of workshops between January and March 2023 including a range of stakeholder roundtables including representatives from industry bodies, patient organisations and civil society organisations.

Chief Negotiations Adviser to DHSC, Sir Hugh Taylor, said:

Constructive negotiations for the future VPAS scheme are an essential part of reaching an agreement that benefits all involved and encourages the pharmaceutical sector to continue investing in the UK, while also making sure people get access to the best medicines.

I’m very happy to be taking on this role and will work collaboratively with industry to understand their views while ensuring we put NHS patients first.

VPAS contributes to maintaining the affordability of branded medicines spend across the UK, as well as providing an agreed level of revenue growth for the life sciences industry.

Background information

Sir Hugh Taylor was chair of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust from 2011 until November 2022, and chair of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust from 2019 until November 2022.

Prior to these appointments he had a long and distinguished career in the Civil Service which included senior roles in DHSC and the NHS Executive, the Cabinet Office and the Home Office. His most recent appointment before joining Guy’s and St Thomas’, was Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health, from which he retired in July 2010.

Hugh has been chair of the Board of Governors of the Health Foundation since 2017.

Hugh is a trustee of Cicely Saunders International.

He was the former chair of the National Skills Academy for Health, and between 2011 and 2017 he was a trustee of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Published 23 March 2023