Thousands of people could be denied life-saving medicine on the NHS following Brexit, it has been reported.
As the pound’s value has dropped following the Leave vote, the relative price of drugs has increased raising concerns the NHS may no longer be able to afford them.
13-year-old kidney patient Abi Longfellow told The Sunday People the cost of her medication went increased by £16,000 overnight due to Brexit.
The NHS had initially agreed to purchase the drug from the US, when it cost £136,000 but the pound’s depleted value now means it will cost £152,000- raising concerns the drug may be delayed or outright denied.
The teenager has a rare kidney disease which will kill her before her 18th birthday unless she receives a transplant. She says she was expecting confirmation on Friday that she will receive the medicine, but instead received an email saying: “I understand [the delay] is because our finance team need more time to check that the costings we have based our prioritisation decisions on are all still correct post Brexit and the changes in the value of Sterling.
“The NHS buys some of the drugs it uses in euros and dollars as many of the big pharmaceutical companies are not UK based.”
Abi, who experiences acute pain due to her condition and is on dialysis 10 hours per day, said: “I just want the delays to stop. I want to have a transplant and lead a normal life which doesn’t involve my mum and dad constantly fighting for me.”
The potential impact of Brexit on the NHS was fiercely disputed during the EU referendum campaign by both sides.
NHS English Chief Executive Simon Stevens suggested leaving the EU could damage healthcare provision, warning that Brexit would be a “terrible moment” for the NHS.
The Leave campaign had suggested funding sent to Brussels could instead be redirected to the NHS, however this pledge was back tracked on following the referendum result.
The Independent has approached NHS England for comment.
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