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Top-up fees will lead to two tier NHS, doctors tell MPs

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b417 (Published 02 February 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b417
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

    Expert clinicians believe that allowing NHS patients to pay top-up fees for expensive drugs as part of their treatment will create a complicated, two tier service.

    The principles of the NHS are being undermined, clinicians told MPs on the parliamentary health select committee on Thursday 28 January during the first evidence session of the committee’s new inquiry into top-up fees, also known as copayments.

    In November last year Mike Richards, England’s national clinical director for cancer, published a report, Improving Access to Medicines for NHS Patients, after reviewing the longstanding rule on copayments that meant that people deciding to buy their own drugs to top up treatment had to pay for the whole of their care …

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