Daniel Zeichner (Cambridge) (Lab):
Last week, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence issued guidelines that introduce a financial cap on access to medicines. Major research charities such as Alzheimer’s Research UK and Cancer Research UK warn that lives will be lost because of this new rationing system. Should there not have been a statement about such an important change in policy? In the absence of such a statement, may we have a debate?
It is important that decisions about individual medicines are taken by a body such as NICE, where clinical judgment is to the fore, rather than being subject to political pressure or the question of who has the most effective group of supporters to lobby on their behalf. I will ask the relevant Minister at the Department of Health to write to the hon. Gentleman.