An announcement which may apply to England only (not the other three Regions?) is pre-released in The Guardian 15th March 2017. Delays in approval of proprietary products (value based pricing), until as near to patent expiry as possible, is just one method of rationing by delay, but it should be called what it is, and politicians should be quizzed by the media on their “core values”:
Patients could face delays accessing drugs on the NHS after health bosses agreed that the most expensive treatments can be stalled.
Even when a drug has been approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) – which already has strict rules on affordability – bosses at NHS England can now slow down its delivery to patients.
The move applies to any drugs that are expected to cost £20m or more in any of the first three years of their rollout across the NHS.
This could apply to cheaper drugs that will be used by hundreds of thousands of people or very expensive drugs used by a small number of people. Drugs used to treat a range of conditions, including diabetes or cancer, could be affected.
Under the move, NHS England can ask Nice to extend the amount of time the NHS has to bring the drug in for all patients – in some cases for three years. At present, the NHS has 90 days to make Nice-approved drugs available…..
…Other changes agreed by the Nice board include the introduction of a new fast-track option for treatments which cost less than £10,000 per year of good quality of life to patients.
The upper end of Nice’s standard threshold range is £20-30,000 per year. The new fast-tracking will mean cheaper treatments go through the appraisal process in six months rather than nine.