Should drugs for rare diseases be given special status in the NHS?

The growing number and costs of drugs for rare diseases (orphan drugs) are straining healthcare budgets. Should the NHS continue to pay for them and how will this affect other health services, ask two articles in this week's BMJ?

Orphan drugs are often expensive to produce and benefit only small numbers of patients. Historically, the NHS has paid for them because treatments for these diseases were so rare that the effect on health services was negligible.

But, as more and more orphan drugs come on to the market, the impact on other health services is becoming substantial.

In the first article, experts argue that the cost effectiveness of orphan drugs should be treated in the same way as for other healthcare technologies.

They believe that the costs of production and the value of innovation cannot justify special treatment, and that arguments about the measurement and valuation of health outcomes apply equally to orphan drugs and drugs for more common conditions. "Why should a person's health be valued less simply because the condition is not rare?"

Special status for orphan drugs in resource allocation will avoid difficult and unpopular decisions, but it may impose substantial and increasing costs on the healthcare system, they write.. The costs will be borne by other patients with more common diseases who will be unable to access effective and cost effective treatment as a result.

The second article describes how a national decision to provide therapies for a group of rare disorders prevented local funding for other equally vital services in the West Midlands.

The new commissioning arrangement came with no extra funding. The cost to primary care trusts doubled from 3.2m to 6.7m, limiting budgets available to commission and develop other services.

It is time to educate ourselves, policy makers, and the public, say the authors. "We need to learn how to make trade-offs between equity and efficiency that a

Contact: Emma Dickinson
BMJ-British Medical Journal

Page: 1 2

Related medicine news :

1. Should adult male circumcision be recommended for HIV prevention in the US?
2. Shoulder tapping -- Young males are most willing to purchase alcohol for underage youth
3. Should NICE evaluate complementary medicine?
4. Should Muslims have faith-based health services?
5. Should smokers be refused surgery?
6. Should patients undergoing surgery get ASA?
7. Should patients have to opt out of electronic records?
8. Assisted dying: Should it be legal?
9. Should older men be screened for prostate cancer?
10. Should we screen people for depression?
11. Should we ban consumer drug ads? - Press release from PLoS Medicine

Post Your Comments:

(Date:8/29/2020)... ... August 29, 2020 , ... When professor and author Randy Pausch was ... most people would. Rather than become melancholic, however, he put together a final lecture ... dreams. Randy Pausch took a negative situation and turned it into something that inspired ...
(Date:8/28/2020)... ... August 28, 2020 , ... The 15 scholarships being ... Health & Wellness mobile app and web-portal. NCPCV received a 2020 grant from ... grants each year to organizations, such as Destination Imagination, which support and advance ...
(Date:8/28/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... August 28, 2020 , ... ... role in advising Adventist Health on its investment in Synchronous Health, a tech-enabled ... company that combines the strength of human empathy with artificial intelligence (AI) to ...
(Date:8/27/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... August 27, 2020 , ... ... doors! Sikara Medspa is a leading aesthetic and wellness retreat. The practice is ... and surrounding areas of Las Vegas. , Designed to be a sanctuary ...
(Date:8/26/2020)... ... August 26, 2020 , ... ... #1 in the 2020 Best in KLAS Software & Services Report as the ... successful experience archiving a wide variety of complex clinical and financial software systems ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/1/2020)... ... September 01, 2020 , ... ... appointed to serve as Secretary to the Board of Trustees and committee chair ... High United Way is a Denver-based nonprofit organization that fights for the education, ...
(Date:9/1/2020)... ... 2020 , ... Breast and ovarian cancers are common diseases that affect many ... cancers (about 7,500 women per year) and 10% of ovarian cancers (about 2,000 women ... genes are detectable in the Women’s Excellence Genetic Testing Program. , Dr. Jonathan Zaidan, ...
(Date:8/31/2020)... ... August 31, 2020 , ... Welltech1, the ... that they have invested $400,000 in PopBase, one of two start-ups that beat ... Global Wellness Institute (GWI). , The competition was part of the GWI’s ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: