NHS patients to be allowed to make private 'top-up' payments for drugs

NHS patients are to be allowed to pay privately for drugs not recommended by NICE, reports suggest.

Health secretary Alan Johnson has told several newspapers that patients will no longer be forbidden from making ‘top-up’ payments to receive drugs privately.

The rules most commonly affect patients in the later stages of cancer who want to pay for drugs not recommended by NICE because of their cost.

Cancer czar Professor Mike Richards has been reviewing the use of top-up payments in the NHS since June.

The DoH will only confirm that Professor Richards’ review has been passed to the health secretary, who will be making an announcement later this week.


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