Intended for healthcare professionals


Organisations reluctantly come out in support of top-up payments

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 16 September 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1685
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

    A number of leading medical organisations have concluded that a system where patients are able to pay privately for drugs without losing their right to NHS care is inevitable.

    In its response to a consultation currently being carried out by Mike Richards, the government’s national cancer adviser for England, the health policy think tank the King’s Fund described the current system in which paying for top-up treatments (copayments) is prohibited as “untenable.”

    It conceded, “after much consideration of what is undoubtedly a complex issue,” that patients should be able to pay privately for some drugs that are not available on the NHS while retaining their right to NHS …

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