John criticises Novartis legal action against NHS in Hampshire

John Denham MP has criticised the drug company Novartis for taking legal action against the NHS in Hampshire.

The legal action is aimed at preventing the NHS prescribing the cheaper Avastin for sight-saving treatments in preference to the more expensive Lucentis.

Mr Denham said:

“What sticks in the throat is that the patent for both drugs are ultimately owned by the same drug company, Genentech. It’s true that Avastin is not approved for Wet AMD but this seems to be because drug companies are trying to force the NHS to buy their more expensive products.

“I hope the NHS wins their legal action, but this is an issue Ministers must tackle. They should stand up to the vested interests of the drugs companies and make it clear that this is unacceptable behaviour.

“Drug companies should not be using bully-boy tactics to prevent doctors and patients getting good treatment and good value for money”.

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