Drugs manufacturers lose High Court action against the NHS

The High Court on Friday threw out a claim by the drug Manufacturers Novartis and Bayer, opening the floodgates for the NHS to save millions of pounds by using an unapproved drug for use in treating Age-related Macular Degeneration (known as “wet AMD”), a common eye condition which can lead to partial sight loss if untreated.

Novartis and Bayer’s both own approved drugs to treat wet AMD, but their respective drugs cost almost 3000% and 2000% more than Avastin.

Mrs Justice Whipple ruled that, because the drug, Avastin, had been safely used to treat wet AMD in other countries and undergone trials in those countries, there was nothing preventing the NHS from adopting other countries’ use of the drug in treating AMD.

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