NHS Watchdog Brings Drug Costs Down

22 December 2009 (Last Updated December 22nd, 2009 18:30)

The watchdog of the UK's National Health Service, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), is forcing pharmaceutical companies to cut the price of high-cost cancer drugs. An example of its tough new stance is its approval of trabectedin, a drug for soft tissue sarcoma, a

The watchdog of the UK's National Health Service, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), is forcing pharmaceutical companies to cut the price of high-cost cancer drugs.

An example of its tough new stance is its approval of trabectedin, a drug for soft tissue sarcoma, a rare cancer that can occur anywhere in the body, after it secured a deal with Spanish manufacturer, PharmaMar that would halve the cost to the NHS, according to independent.co.uk.

NICE director of the Health Technology Evaluation Centre Carole Longson said that sometimes the price of new drugs is just too high for the degree of benefit they demonstrate and in these circumstances, companies can consider and present a new value proposition if they wish to.

"We would certainly encourage companies to help make their products cost effective for the benefit of individual patients and the NHS as a whole," Longson said.