New budget test puts UK on front line in global drug price fight


27 March 2017 - Can society afford modern medicines? It's a question facing governments worldwide and nowhere more so than in Britain, where a new budget test due to take effect on April 1 threatens to throw up another hurdle to patients getting the drugs.

For the last 18 years Britain has led the way in measuring drug cost-effectiveness in a rational and dispassionate way, using a model of economic benefits developed by NICE.

NICE has inspired copycat agencies across Europe - and in countries as diverse as South Korea and Mexico - giving it an influence beyond Britain's 3% slice of global drug sales.

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Michael Wonder

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Michael Wonder