Intended for healthcare professionals


Government announces review of copayments in the NHS

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 26 June 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1455
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1Margate

The government is to review a longstanding rule that forbids NHS patients in England from topping up their treatment by buying drugs that are not available on the NHS.

The Department of Health is signalling that it may consider changing the rule on such copayments. Currently anyone who buys their own drugs has to become a private patient and thus pay for the whole of their care themselves.

Pressure has been building for a change after cases in which patients in the final stages of cancer wanted to pay for drugs that were new and had not yet been approved for use …

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