Medicines Value and Access

NHS England’s Medicines Value and Access function (MVA) provides the commercial capabilities to enable the NHS in England to secure innovative treatments and the everyday medicines that people rely on, in a way that achieves value for taxpayers.

What are our missions?

  • To secure patient access to clinically effective treatments in a way that delivers the best value for taxpayers.
  • To use the commercial leverage of the NHS to deliver productivity gains and efficiencies that support front-line staff to deliver outstanding patient care.
  • To develop policy that supports the optimal use of medicines in the NHS.
  • To help the health service build a resilient, decarbonised supply chain.
  • To work with industry, clinicians, integrated care boards (ICBs) and patient groups to identify and help the NHS prepare for potentially transformative treatments.

What do we do?

The NHS in England spends more than £19 billion on medicines, making this the second largest single expenditure, after workforce.

The MVA works closely with the UK medicines regulators, the MHRA and NICE, who undertake a clinical and cost-effectiveness evaluation of new treatments, to ensure patients receive rapid access to clinically effective medicines that represent good value for taxpayers and the NHS. This can be through national contracts, pricing negotiations for high cost drugs, or innovative agreements to meet wider public and population health ambitions, such as the elimination of hepatitis C and the reduction of deaths from cardiovascular conditions.  

Our commercial approach, set out in the NHS Commercial Framework for New Medicines, is aligned to the priorities of the NHS Long Term Plan and supports the ambitions of the UK’s Life Sciences Vision.

The MVA works with ICBs, regional teams and the relevant commissioning functions of NHS England to help prepare the health service for the implementation of complex new treatments, such as cell and gene therapies.

In collaboration with ICBs, we also support local health systems to deliver outcomes that best reflect the specific needs of their populations, optimising the use of medicines to deliver the best results for patients whilst simultaneously tackling health inequalities.

Our teams

  • Medicines Policy and Strategy – develops policies using data-led analysis to support optimal medicines use and NHS performance.
  • Pharmacy and Clinical Support – provides clinical leadership and advice to ensure all commercial opportunities are clinically-led.
  • Medicines Negotiation and Managed Access – negotiates deals for innovative branded medicines and oversees managed access fund (see managed access fund section for more information).
  • Medicines Procurement and Supply Chain – negotiates and manages medicines contracts for high volume generic and biosimilar drugs.
  • Business Operations – provides management and administrative support across the MVA to better enable efficient and effective delivery.

Managed access funds

  • The MVA administers the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF), which provides patients with earlier access to the most promising new cancer treatments. Since July 2016, tens of thousands of patients have benefitted from faster access to over 100 drugs thanks to the CDF.
  • Building on the success of the CDF, the Innovative Medicines Fund (IMF) was launched in July 2022 to deliver faster access to pioneering non-cancer treatments, including life-saving new gene therapy and treatments for other serious conditions.

Voluntary scheme for branded medicines pricing, access and growth (VPAG)

In November 2023, NHS England, the UK government and the pharmaceutical industry agreed a landmark deal that is set to save the NHS £14 billion over 5 years in medicines costs, increase consistent patient access to the latest cutting-edge treatments and boost the UK’s position as a global superpower in advanced healthcare, technology and clinical research.

The voluntary scheme for branded medicines pricing, access and growth (VPAG) came into force in January 2024 and will run for 5 years until 31 December 2028. The agreement will help to ensure NHS England can build on its track record of securing innovative, life-changing treatments for millions of patients across the country at a fair price for taxpayers.

In the news

Read some of our news stories and blogs from 2023 to find out more about the work we do to secure the best treatments and transform patient outcomes.

Contact us

If you would like to find out more about the work of the MVA, please contact us at