David Blackburn

Lansley wants ‘no win, no fee’ medicine

Lansley wants ‘no win, no fee’ medicine
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Last week, Andrew Lansley spent the weekend reassuring sceptics about his NHS commissioning reforms. He’s at it again this weekend in an interview with the Times (£). Hoping to calm Claire Rayner’s restless ghost, Lansley emphasises that his reforms will improve patient care and give the patient-come-taxpayer value for money.

Medicine and treatment are Lansley’s primary target. On the day that Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish Health Secretary, has protected free prescriptions in Scotland, Lansley proposes this radical solution to regulating and affording expensive treatments:

‘“NICE will be able to give advice about what is the best treatment but it won’t be about saying ‘You must have this’ or even less so saying no to things.”

Mr Lansley’s aim is to introduce a no-win, no-fee type of system for buying drugs, in which drug companies are paid only if the treatments are effective. “About five years ago one of my constituents came to me about Velcade, which was a new drug for the treatment of bone marrow cancer. The primary care trust was saying ‘We don’t think we should make this available’. I argued there should be a risk-sharing scheme, that we should pay the drug company if it worked. I’m going to take that principle and turn it into the system for reimbursements of medicines.”’