MPs seek NHS drug reforms

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FURTHER restrictions on NHS prescribing and an end to the secrecy surrounding drug price control and profits of the pharmaceutical industry were called for yesterday, in a report from the all-party House of Commons Health Committee, which also criticised prescription charges as 'too high,' writes Liz Hunt.

The report proposes an overhaul of the present system of controlling the NHS drug budget which, the committee believes, favours drug companies.

The central recommendation is the introduction of a national prescribing list of drugs for all illnesses, which the NHS is prepared to pay for because they have proved their cost-effectiveness or therapeutic value. Scores of expensive drugs, no more effective than cheaper alternatives, would be excluded.