Fast-track plan cuts wait for newest drugs by years… will cost more in an unrationed service

Whilst always looking for “good news” NHSreality finds it hard to come by these days. Chris Smyth reports in The Times 24th October 2016: Fast-track plan cuts wait for newest drugs by years. It is certainly better than waiting for their patent to be so close to expiring that they are immediately generic on licensing. It will however increase the cost of treating diseases, particularly cancers, and it is imperative that we “make sensible choices” rather than continuing to spend 80% of our individual health budgets in the last year of life. Giving painkillers long after they are needed, and reducing Physiotherapy post hip replacement, in a post-code lottery, to a skeleton service does not help.

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The best new drugs will reach NHS patients up to four years sooner than at present under plans to fast track promising treatments and tests.

Medicines must be conditionally approved for NHS use so that doctors can discover how effective they are in the real world, a review recommends today.

Companies must strike deals with the NHS under which drug prices vary according to how successfully they help patients or save money elsewhere, the review says. Drugs and devices deemed “transformative” will reach clinics sooner as NHS bosses work together to minimise delays caused by bureaucracy.

The NHS is slow to start using new treatments and the review says that patients “often have to wait long periods of time before life-saving therapies are available”. Patients in Britain often wait longer than elsewhere in Europe.

Ministers ordered the review to find ways of speeding up access to new drugs that would also boost the British life-sciences industry. They have welcomed its conclusions, despite being told that more money is needed to ensure that there is a “viable market” for new treatments in the NHS.

Chris Smyth 24th October in The Times: Pointless treatments cost NHS £2bn a year

BBC News: 24th October Doctors name treatments that bring little or no benefit

Emma Force reports 23rd October: Doctors’ leaders call for prescription drug helpline

Chris Smyth 24th October: Hip surgery does not lead to active life

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This entry was posted in Commissioning, Good News, NHS managers, Post Code Lottery, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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