Patients should be allowed to pay for top-ups
The Department of Health ruled two cancer patients are not able to pay for a private cancer drug, Avastin, on top of their NHS care.
But as the doctors' group Doctors for Reform pointed out in a paper last year, top-up payments are common across many medical areas.
Two further case studies just published showed patients are routinely paying between £200 and £500 for superior rheumatology drugs.
Nigel Griffin QC has shown that such payments are legal. The department would be better advised to recognise the benefits of allowing patients to top up and to engage in an open debate about funding options.
Dr Paul Charlson, Brough, Cumbria