Different assessment systems in the different countries of the UK - coupled with a multiplicity of other NHS hurdles - are delaying patients' access to new, innovative medicines and causing confusion over their availability, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) said today.
The ABPI comments followed national media reports that NICE is set to recommend against the use of a bone cancer medicine in England and Wales.
"It is arrant nonsense that a medicine should be judged to be cost-effective in Dumfries and not in Carlisle," said David Fisher, Commercial Director of the ABPI.
"These life-saving and life-extending therapies deserve much more understanding treatment from a body that is meant to support clinical excellence, not just make narrow cost-effectiveness decision on necessarily limited evidence."
The ABPI added that, even when a positive decision is made, patients often still do not receive the recommended medicine because there is a multiplicity of other hurdles to overcome at various levels. These include: prescribing targets, hospital pharmacy budgets, local GP and hospital formularies of approved medicines, prescribing incentive schemes, and primary care advisers monitoring medicines prescribing.
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