The UK's National Health Service will now allow patients to receive NHS care even if they privately pay for drugs, and will implement measures to increase access to NHS-covered treatments.
Alan Johnson, the UK's health secretary, overturned a rule that had previously banned patients from receiving services if they paid for their own medications. At the same time, Michael Richards, the National Cancer Director, published a report that showed government plans to work on new pricing arrangements for new drugs as well as speed up the appraisal and approval process for new medications.
As a result, the public will have greater access to drugs for cancer and other terminal conditions. The move ends what some have called a "cruel practice" that prevented individuals from purchasing certain medications by removing other NHS benefits.
- see the full story at the Financial Times