VAT blow for haemophiliacs

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The parents of haemophiliac children who are demanding a purer and safer form of Factor VIII, received a setback to their campaign yesterday after a tribunal ruled that the blood product should be subject to VAT.

Genetically-engineered recombinant Factor VIII is now the treatment of choice for haemophiliacs, but it is more expensive than the plasma-derived version, and the decision to impose VAT will further discourage health authorities from purchasing it. The Haemophilia Society said it would appeal direct to the Chancellor to overturn the decision. Liz Hunt