I agree that this is an important issue. As the campaign from Global Justice Now highlights, millions of people in the developing world are missing out on the medicines they need. Even here in the UK, the situation on drug prices is not serving patients or taxpayers as well as it could and concerns continue to be raised about the availability of new treatments.
In September 2016, the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines published a report calling for greater transparency to ensure that the costs of the R&D, production, marketing and distribution of medicines, as well as the end prices, are clear to consumers and governments. I believe Ministers should consider the report carefully. Measures such as these could help ensure fairness in drug pricing and assist international agencies to support drug and vaccine deployment in countries where they are needed.
I also agree that research in the UK needs to be better managed and supported, and more effective. At the 2017 general election, I stood on a manifesto that committed to insisting on value-for-money agreements with pharmaceutical companies and ensuring that all NHS patients get access to the most effective new drugs and treatments.
I can therefore assure you that I will continue to push for action on this issue at every opportunity.