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Thursday 29 September 2016
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Top-up drugs should be allowed on NHS, says health committee

Allowing patients to "top up" their care with privately bought drugs not available on the NHS is the only realistic way forward, according to a Commons health committee report.

This is despite concerns that the new system may create a two-tier health system and be difficult to put into practice.

The committee says: "We believe it would be wrong for very seriously ill patients to be moved from an NHS ward to a different location so as to administer a privately paid-for drug separately.

"This undoubted disruption to a person's quality of life just to meet some bureaucratic requirement would not only endanger the patient's care, but would be unjust."

After a review by government cancer expert Professor Mike Richards, a ban on people who buy their own drugs from receiving state care is now being relaxed.

The report concludes: "Although we are not convinced by the arguments that dismiss the threats of establishing a two-tier system or that separation of patients is practicable for only a part of the treatment, we can see no transparent way of alleviating the problem other than Professor Richards' proposals."

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Richards Report