Magazine article Public Finance

Soaring Drugs Bill Cause of NHS Cash Woes, Say Managers

Magazine article Public Finance

Soaring Drugs Bill Cause of NHS Cash Woes, Say Managers

Article excerpt

NHS managers have rejected the Audit Commissions claim that poor financial management, rather than lack of funds, is responsible for the 'postcode lottery' in access to new drugs and treatments.

Chief executive of the NHS Confederation Gill Morgan said: 'Prescribing drugs cost the NHS £8bn last year, an increase of 46% since 2000, and this rapid rise in the medication bill is a major cause of the financial pressures facing NHS organisations.'

Morgan was speaking in response to the publication of the Audit Commission's report, Managing the financial implications of Nice guidance, which found that only one in seven NHS bodies had plans for taking new guidance from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence into account when drawing up their financial plans.

Nice issues guidelines and directions on treatments and access to drugs, and NHS bodies are legally bound to implement the institutes directions within three months of their publication. …

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