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Two thirds of MPs believe NHS should spend less on medicines

Published on 30/04/19 at 10:17am

Nearly two thirds (64%) of MPs believe the NHS should direct more resources towards prevention, over funding for new treatments, according to a poll of 100 parliamentarians.

The report suggests MPs support the vision set out in the NHS Long Term Plan – a plan through which the government intends to spend less on medicines as they shift focus towards preventative care.

While increased focus on preventative care has for a long time been a goal for NHS policymakers, politicians have in the past often taken the side of patients when it comes to funding new and innovative treatments.

The poll thus suggests the parliamentary consensus may be shifting, as nearly half (49%) of MPs said they were confident that the NHS Long Term Plan will be successful in improving the prevention of ill health and disease.

Meanwhile 79% of MPs said they thought the pharmaceutical industry had a legitimate role to play in implementing the NHS Long Term’s plan agenda.

The poll comes as the impasse over access to Vertex’s Orkambi continues.

“These findings make clear that prevention is now one of the biggest political factors driving the healthcare debate with parliamentarians. That the majority of MPs are happy to see funding for new treatments reduced in favour of the prevention agenda is likely to put further pressure on industry.”

“The NHS is undergoing a significant shift towards prevention – pharma must change with it and showcase the crucial role it can play in health and wellbeing.”

Louis Goss

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