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UK drug appraisal process is restricting access to cancer drugs, say charities

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i4465 (Published 15 August 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4465
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

NHS patients are being denied access to innovative new cancer treatments while other similar countries find ways to make them available, a report by two charities, Breast Cancer Now and Prostate Cancer UK, has found.1 The document has called for reform of the system that assesses new drugs to allow price negotiation.

The report reviewed the drug appraisal systems and the availability of breast and prostate cancer drugs in England, Scotland, Wales, Germany, France, Australia, Canada, and Sweden. It concluded that while no system was perfect there were aspects of other health systems that could be potentially implemented in the United Kingdom to improve levels of access.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in England and Wales, and the Scottish Medicines Consortium in Scotland, assess new …

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