The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has today confirmed that it has applied for a Judicial Review over the introduction of the budget impact test by NICE and NHS England.
The test could allow NHS England and NICE to delay access to new treatments that would cost in total over £20 million per year to the NHS – despite having already been approved as cost-effective for routine use. According to NICE and the ABPI, the cost-cap could see one in five new treatments delayed.
Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, said:
“We remain extremely concerned that the budget impact test could see NHS patients experience delays in accessing vital and cost-effective drugs.
“From the outset, it was incredibly disappointing that, despite widespread opposition from those representing patients and a willingness to discuss alternative solutions, NICE and NHS England decided to implement this test.
“Getting modern breast cancer drugs through to the NHS patients that desperately need them is already very difficult, and this test could represent a major additional hurdle. Thousands of women living with incurable breast cancer are relying on effective drugs to give them significant and precious extra time with their loved ones, and any further delays could sadly see patients lose their lives as they wait.
“We will now be monitoring the progress of this possible legal action closely, and hope that it will provide clarity on the issue of timely access to drugs in England. We, alongside many other charities, remain ready and willing to work with all involved to look at how this critical issue can be resolved.”