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16
Mar
Plans to cap affordability of drugs could delay treatments

written by

Leukaemia CARE, Charity

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Proposals put forward by NHS England and The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) could delay vital drugs and treatments reaching patients.

Such plans could have a devastating impact on the lives of millions of people, including blood cancer patients, and poses a real risk to patients who need life-saving treatment.

NHS England and NICE are proposing that if any new treatment is approved for use on the NHS in England, but will cost more than a set amount per year overall, then access can be restricted and delayed with no limits on how long this can last. If this was set at £20 million as in their draft proposal this would mean that around 1 in 5 new treatments will potentially be delayed.

Zack Pemberton-Whiteley, Head of Campaigns and Advocacy at Leukaemia CARE, commented:

“If approved, these proposals could indefinitely delay access to the next generation of leukaemia treatments. These are treatments that have been reviewed and recommended as a cost-effective use of NHS resources, but would not be available for patients, because they have triggered an arbitrary threshold. This is particularly concerning when treatments are being used in an end of life setting, where speed of access is paramount. Time is running out. We’re calling on NHS England and NICE to reconsider their decision and ask you to join us by signing the petition.”

Prostate Cancer UK have set up a petition in an attempt to stop the plans going ahead, with over 12,000 people having already signed. You can help to halt these plans by signing the petition here.