Rising cost of state's drug habit

After the controversy over funding the cancer drug Ippy, the government is likely to come under pressure to pay for even more expensive treatments, writes Susan Mitchell.

Susan Mitchell

Deputy Editor and Health Editor @susmitchellsbp
5th May, 2012
A fair mechanism is needed for deciding which drugs are funded, says a consultant neurologist. Photo: Bloomberg

Anew drug to treat cystic fibrosis has recently been approved for use in the United States. Ivacaftor has been dubbed a wonder drug; officials from the US Federal Drugs Administration (FDA) hailed it as the first drug that targets an underlying cause of CF, rather than treating the symptoms of the disease.

It works by improving hydration of the airways, as well as the functioning of the lungs, and in clinical trials resulted in "significant...

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