Responding to the outcome of the judicial review on Avastin usage, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations from across the healthcare sector, said:
“This is great news for patients, taxpayers and the NHS. Having to pay far too much for one medicine when another much cheaper one is just as good, is a nonsense and the court has recognised that. Scarce NHS resources must be protected.
“And within evidenced based guidelines, clinicians need to be able to use their professional judgement to make the best decisions for their patients
“Given that wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the most common procedures, this ruling should save the health service up to hundreds of million pounds a year.
“The system of regulating medicines in this country is rightly regarded as world beating and it is one of the great pillars that protect patients across the UK. But it should never prevent access to medicines that work.
“The pharmaceutical industry also plays a vital and increasingly important role in our health and in UK plc – it is unfortunate that this has led to a court battle, but we need to keep an eye on the bigger picture. It is in all our interests to develop closer and more effective partnerships between the life science industry and the health service.
“NHS organisations across the UK need to act on this judgement and make sure the benefits are realised immediately.”