Intended for healthcare professionals


NHS decision to deny drug to boy with severe autism was “fundamentally flawed”

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: (Published 09 August 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j3822
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

A High Court judge has quashed a “fundamentally flawed” decision by the NHS to refuse funding for a “life changing” drug for a 7 year old boy with severe autism and phenylketonuria (PKU).

Mrs Justice Andrews said that NHS England had made “error upon error” in the steps it took in deciding not to fund sapropterin dihydrochloride (Kuvan) for the boy, “SB,” who displays violent and challenging behaviour and whose autism makes the usual dietary treatment for PKU hard to manage.

The judge quashed that decision, taken last December, and has sent the case back for reconsideration. But she warned against “raising hopes too high,” noting that it was still open to the panel to use its …

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