Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Top-up system has hidden costs that have not been accounted for

03.12.2008
The “cost” of top-up payments to the NHS are not confined to the cost of the drug and require the NHS to make some long overdue changes or risk financial failure, argue two editorials published in Clinical Oncology, by Elsevier.

Dr Rob Glynne-Jones and Prof. Karol Sikora debate the issues of top-up payments with both concluding that the NHS must make substantial changes in administration and management structure.

The NHS was in need of reform to meet patient behavioural changes, and the introduction of top-up payments puts more pressure on a system based on outdated requirements. Extra resources and management will be needed from the outset in order to effectively manage the payment transactions and keep accurate records of patient care and payment.

Dr Glynne-Jones highlights, “The cost of the drug is not the only cost to the NHS; patients who purchase the drug and stay in the NHS reduce the resources for all remaining patients.”

Dr Glynne-Jones continues, “A co-payment system poses major risks to society: co-payment would require an administrative system to authorise, and police it, which will not be cost neutral to the NHS. In some circumstances the NHS may eventually be obliged to pick up the costs anyway, when a patient runs out of money, since the European Court of Human Rights may continue a treatment that is clearly keeping them alive.”

Patients have become very sophisticated consumers, seeking knowledge and answers on the internet, making their own treatment demands and increasingly eager to understand the diagnosis. They will also want to understand their position if making a top-up decision including any potential after-care payments. Clear guidelines for implementation are needed for now both staff and patients. As Prof Sikora says, “A suitable infrastructure for the ethical delivery of top-up services is urgently required. This could drive choice and competition throughout cancer care leading to real reform and value, whoever pays.”

Other cost considerations and resource issues include: the administration of the drug, – infusion time, complexity and cost of accompanying symptom control medication, dealing with side effects, extra doctor, nursing and pharmacist time.

Prof. Sikora suggests that “a fixed total tariff including all the costs above is calculated in advance of drug delivery and given as an option to the patient in writing. A supplement of 30% to the actual drug cost is likely for most intravenous and 15% for oral administration.”

Sarah Hayton | alfa
Further information:
http://www.elsevier.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht The gut microbiota plays a key role in treatment with classic diabetes medication
01.06.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>