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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2009): National Health Service - funding

Drug penny-pinching 'breaks bones and costs lives'

D. Rose

The Times, Jan. 19th 2009, p. 20

NICE, the medicine regulator, is facing a legal challenge over its ruling that thousands of women with thinning bones should be denied effective treatment on the NHS. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence states that doctors should prescribe the cheapest drug available to women with early signs of osteoporosis, even though up to 20% cannot take it.

Drug shortage looms as pound falls

S. Gainsbury

Health Service Journal, Jan. 22nd 2009, p. 4-5

There has been a dramatic fall in imports of cut-price branded drugs into the UK. When the pound was strong, so-called 'parallel traders' could buy drugs in Europe and sell them at a profit in the UK. There is evidence that these traders are now buying up UK supplies, repackaging them, and selling them at a profit in Scandinavia and Germany. This activity could lead to a shortage of drugs in the NHS.

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