Thousands of people in the United Kingdom could be denied several life-saving drugs on the National Health Service (NHS), a new report found.
The price of several medicines surged following the Brexit-related plunge of the pound's value. This has increased the people's concerns that the NHS could no longer afford them.
For instance, Abi Longfellow, a 13-year-old kidney patient, said that the price of her medicine saw an increase of £16,000 ($21,258.72) just overnight following the Brexit.
Initially, the NHS agreed to purchase the medicine, which previously costs £136,000 ($180,699.12) from the United States. However, with the recent plunge in the pound's value, the drug now costs £152,000 ($201,957.84). This caused many people to be concerned that the drug purchase might be delayed, or worse, denied outright.
Longfellow is suffering from a rare kidney disease, which could end her life before she even turns 18 years old if she doesn't receive a transplant. The patient added that she had expected to get a confirmation last Friday if she will get the life-saving medicine.
Because of her condition, she is undergoing dialysis 10 hours daily. She also suffers from acute pain.
"I understand [the delay] is because our finance team need more time to check that the costings we have based our prioritization decisions on are all still correct post-Brexit and the changes in the value of Sterling," states the email that she received.
Moreover, the email explained that the NHS purchases some of the medicines in dollars and euros because the majority of the large pharmaceutical firms are not based in the United Kingdom. Longfellow added that she just wants the delays to end, get the transplant and "lead a normal life."
Last month, Longfellow also faced another setback when she was told that her 46-year-old father, Andy, is no longer an eligible match for her kidney transplant operation. It was initially thought that her father would be the perfect match. Unfortunately, new technology tests showed that the daughter could have rejected the father's organ.
Longfellow is just one of the many patients affected by the NHS' decision to put on hold several services and drugs. For instance, child gender dysphoria patients, a condition wherein patients believe they were born with the wrong sex, also need to wait to find if they are eligible for the cross-sex hormones when they reach the age of 15.
Sadly, even HIV patients need to do some waiting time to find out if they are eligible to get the Tenefovir Alafenamide drug. This medication can potentially stop the disease from spreading in the body.
Photo: Asraff Jamaludin | Flickr