Topping-up the NHS with private prescribing

"At the MS Frontiers meeting, last week, one of the MSers dropped a bombshell in a trial meeting we had. He believes that if MSers want access to new and expensive DMTs and they don’t fulfill NICE guidance for these treatments then they should pay for these treatments privately. If they can’t afford them then it is simply bad luck. He highlighted that the rationing that occurs in the NHS is denying some MSers access to drugs they need and should get."  

"This proposal has become a reality in oncology; NHS oncologists are now able to administer privately funded drugs in NHS units without any additional costs to the person paying for the treatment.  This practice was not allowed in the past."

"I am not sure how many people have taken up the option to receive private medication under the NHS. You may be interested to know that this is already happening in the field of MS. Fampridine is not being funded by the NHS, but we are allowed to give private prescriptions to individuals who can pay for the medication themselves."

"What this practice signifies is the end of socialist medicine in the UK as we know it. We now have a two-tiered system with the haves and have-nots. If you can afford it you get the drugs you need; if you can’t afford it there is still the safety net under the NHS, i.e. access to rationed therapies if you fulfill NICE guidelines."

"This MSer suggested that my aggressive treatment paradigm, or treat-2-target of NEDA*, should be funded in this way."

"I would appreciate your comments on his proposal."

*NEDA = no evidence of disease activity

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