PM rows over NHS funding for rare treatments
Yesterday, Prime Minister David Cameron was drawn into a row over the provision of drugs for rare illnesses following a confrontation regarding the case of a six-year-old boy from Yorkshire.
NHS England bosses were due to make a series of decisions next week over the provision of treatments for dozens of conditions.
The process has been uprooted and thrown into chaos following a legal challenge to the ‘flawed’ system to determine which treatments to commission.
The Yorkshire Post has reported how Sam Brown, six, of Otley near Leeds, has shown major improvements in symptoms of a rare and incurable degenerative condition following a drug trial of Vimizim.
NHS Chiefs were expected to refuse the drug funding next week, using a new scorecard system which allows them to compare therapies, ultimately ending Sam’s treatment.
At Prime Minister’s Questions on the 3rd of December, Greg Mulholland, an MP from Leeds North West, urged Mr Cameron to reinstate a previous system to appraise drugs for rare conditions. This system was scrapped following the Government’s controversial NHS reforms.
The Prime Minister promised to address the issue with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, which was welcomed by the Liberal Democrat. However, the MP did stress urgency.
‘With NHS England scrapping its inadequate processes, any delay in these children getting the drugs they need could severely impact on their conditions.’
As patients like Sam continue to await the final outcome,they will still have access to Vimizim.