The NHS is to delay the introduction of a highly expensive drug that
can save the lives of people infected with the hepatitis C virus. The
move by NHS England is unprecedented, because the NHS rationing body,
Nice (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) has
approved the drug. Nice says sofosbuvir is cost-effective, because it is
a cure for people who would otherwise run up huge NHS bills.
One in three people infected with hepatitis C will develop liver
cirrhosis and some will get cancer. A liver transplant costs more than
But NHS England appears to be balking at the bill for the drug, which
would hit £1bn for every 20,000 people treated. Approximately 160,000
people in England alone are infected with hepatitis C, although fewer
than half are aware of it.
Labels: NHS, sofosbuvir (Sovaldi), UK