The move follows an influential coalition of leading cancer charities, led by Prostate Cancer UK, warning the Government that continuing to exclude patient views from the talks risked seriously undermining the credibility and effectiveness of the new value based pricing system.
Prostate Cancer UK has hailed the development as excellent news and looks forward to significantly greater involvement from patients from now on.
Owen Sharp, Chief Executive of Prostate Cancer UK, said: "We are delighted that the consultation into value-based pricing will no longer take place behind closed doors. This is an excellent development and is exactly what Prostate Cancer UK and like-minded charities have been demanding for some time.
"We very much look forward to working with the Department of Health and ABPI over the coming months to ensure the voice of patients is heard. Patient groups must have a say in the design of the new system so that it truly reflects their needs, as it is their lives that will be most affected."
In November, in the absence of any formal patient engagement in the discussions on drug pricing, Prostate Cancer UK produced a report presenting the collective voice of over a dozen leading cancer charities. The report Value-based pricing: Getting it right for people with cancer provides crucial insight into patient opinion on these vitally important negotiations.