NICE Chairman advises to sue NHS if patients are refused approved drugs
The Chairman for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), Sir Michael Rawlins, has said that many NHS Trusts are acting unlawfully by denying patients the use of NICE-approved treatments in a bid to save money. He has advised that patients should challenge these decisions in Court.He has specifically referred to the difficulties that some patients were having in accessing a drug known as dexamethasone intravitreal implants, which are used to treat retinal vein occlusion. If this drug is given every six months, evidence shows that it significantly helps to prevent the deterioration of a patient’s sight.Often hospital trusts and primary care trusts spend months in the set up to using these drugs, which is considered to be unnecessary and has a detrimental effect on the availability of much needed medication for patients.Sharon Allison, a medical injury lawyer at Ashtons Legal, says “It is wholly depressing that patients are not getting timely access to much needed medication. Unfortunately, with the funding reforms dawning in civil litigation next year, the landscape is going to become more challenging when it comes to taking legal action against the NHS or GPs. I agree entirely that Trusts should not be able to deny access to much needed treatment and patients should seek urgent legal advice on the matter if they are affected.”
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