Some medications approved by the NHS are being banned by some health trusts as they are too expensive. Medicines blacklisted include treatments for asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, cancer and heart disease despite being approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice).
An investigation carried out by GP newspaper found that round 25% of trusts have banned the use of Nice medications. A freedom of information request found that 33 of the 71 primary care trusts had a blacklist, with 18 of those including medications on the Nice list.
If a doctor deems a drug approved by Nice to be clinically appropriate then according to the NHS constitution the patient has the right to receive it. The care trust lists contains medications which are classed as “not prescribable” or not effective enough.
The Department of Health say there is no excuse for PCT’s to be denying patients access to medication if their doctor thinks it is necessary.
Those not wishing to be at the mercy of the NHS have been looking at private health insurance, with the sector continuing to perform well. While there is often a cap on the amount companies will spend on medications they are far more flexible when it comes to prescribing certain medications.