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Experts warn of drug rationing by GPs under new pricing scheme

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c6240 (Published 02 November 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6240
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

Experts have warned that the new GP consortiums in England will be left with the responsibility of rationing which drugs their patients get when a new system of drug pricing is introduced in 2014.

England’s health secretary, Andrew Lansley, has repeatedly stated his preference for switching to a value based pricing scheme because he believes that it will better reflect the benefit of drugs to patients and reduce the drug bill.

He plans to introduce the scheme, in which the government will negotiate the prices that the NHS pays for drugs according to the therapeutic benefits they bring to patients, in the next three years.

The scheme effectively means that the role of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in ruling on whether drugs should be available to patients on …

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