Drug cap court bidDrugs firms taking NHS to court in an unprecedented bid to block ‘wrong and unnecessary’ rationing : Sun.

DRUGS firms are taking the NHS to court in an unprecedented bid to block “wrong and unnecessary” rationing.

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry wants to overturn rules that allow officials to restrict access to costly treatments.

 Since April, NHS does not automatically funds drugs if they are set to cost more than £20m a year

Since April, NHS does not automatically funds drugs if they are set to cost more than £20m a year

It has applied for a judicial review of a decision by NHS England and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice).

Since April, drugs are no longer automatically funded if they are set to cost the NHS more than £20m a year.

The money-saving measure applies even if Nice rules the drugs offer good value.

Treatments for very rare diseases – which often affect children – must also demonstrate greater increases to patients’ quality of life.

Nice estimates the policies will affect one in five of the new medicines produced by the pharma industry each year.

One consultancy found 24 new drugs would have seen access curbed if the rule had been introduced from September 2012.

These include treatments for cancer, hepatitis and cystic fibrosis.

 The £20m hurdle makes buy cancer drugs even more difficult, according to experts

Getty Images
The £20m hurdle makes buy cancer drugs even more difficult, according to experts

These include treatments for cancer, hepatitis and cystic fibrosis.

Anita Charlesworth, from the Health Foundation think tank, said the move – yet to be triggered – amounted to “overt rationing on affordability grounds”.

Richard Torbett, executive director at the ABPI, said the ABPI says it is acting in patients’ best interests.
He added: “This is not a debate about whether the price is too high.

“These are medicines for which Nice has given the stamp of approval of cost effectiveness.

“It fundamentally crosses a line to not grant mandatory funding for Nice-approved medicines. This has been a part of the Nice regulations for many years and indeed is a right enshrined in the NHS constitution.

Read More : Sun.

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