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British patients being denied drugs because of high prices

23 September 2015 22:59

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Cancer patients in the UK are being denied drugs because of unnecessarily exorbitant prices.

Patients in the UK have been told “the NHS will not pay for two such drugs because they are not cost-effective and they have been dropped from the list reimbursed by the government’s special cancer drugs fund.”

The findings, which will be presented at an international cancer conference this weekend, will fuel the growing controversy over the price of medicines.

Experts say, too many people assume that the high price of new medicines is non-negotiable.

“The pharmaceutical companies who developed these drugs are making vast profits every year, and so could afford to sell their drugs more cheaply…The majority of spending from pharmaceutical companies is on advertising and marketing, not on R&D as they claim. So the normal justification that high drug prices are required to sustain high R&D costs is hard to defend,” said Dr Andrew Hill from Leicester University.

This comes as the drugs are cheap to make, and are available to patients in some other countries at much lower prices.

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