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Novartis and Bayer seek to oppose High Court ruling over NHS decision to use cheaper drug

Published on 16/10/18 at 10:02am

Swiss multinational Novartis have joined German pharma firm Bayer in appealing a High Court ruling over 12 NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) decision to use a cheaper alternative to the two company’s treatments for wet AMD.

While courts backed the NHS commissioning bodies' decision to use Avastin to treat the leading cause of age-related vision loss in the UK, wet AMD, in September of this year; Novartis and Bayer, who produce more expensive alternatives, Lucentis and Eylea, are seeking permission to appeal the British court’s ruling.

The ruling allowed NHS hospitals to use Avastin, a drug approved for the treatment of cancer, which is 30 times cheaper than Novartis and Bayer’s treatments, instead of Novartis and Bayer’s medications.

However the multinational drugmakers are seeking to appeal the decision. A spokesperson for Novartis said: “Today, people living with wet AMD are now being asked to compromise on the assured quality and safety of their treatment, purely on the basis of cost. This is inappropriate and unnecessary. In the future, on the basis of this judgment, it may be people living with cancer, diabetes, or any other long-term condition being asked to compromise on the quality and safety of their treatments.”

Louis Goss

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