August 13, 2008

Advice for Patients on Pricey Drugs

PATIENTS may get independent advice on medicine too costly for the NHS so they can buy it privately.

Andrew Dillon, of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, said: "One of the things we could do well would be to provide independent, objective information for individuals to make up their own mind."

Critics say it could lead to a two-tier NHS. Michael Summers, of the Patients Association, said: "Any information is obviously valuable but people would have less need to top up if Nice did not reject cancer drugs available elsewhere."

Last week Nice ruled four kidney cancer drugs at pounds 24,000 a year per patient were not "cost effective".

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