A healthy philosophy: we need to talk about how we value our medicines #Edscifest

Rachel Baker, Professor of Health Economics and Director of the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health was part of an exciting public event in the Edinburgh International Science Festival on 3rd April 2017.  https://www.sciencefestival.co.uk/event-details/a-healthy-philosophy-we-need-to-talk-about-how-we-value-our-medicines

Together with Professor Ken Paterson (member of the British Pharmacological Society & former chair of the Scottish Medicines Consortium) and Professor David Webb (President of the British Pharmacological Society & Christison Professor of Therapeutics and Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Edinburgh) the audience explored which medicines the UK wants to fund and why, and how wider society might be able to have its say on the country‘s drugs funding arrangements. Medicines cost the NHS nearly £17 billion in 2015/2016 – it’s the second biggest NHS expenditure after staff salaries – so it’s important for all of us that we get value for money from these billions of pounds.

Organised by the British Pharmacological Society and chaired by broadcaster Vivienne Parry OBE.

Professor Baker said of the event: “It was fascinating to see what convinced our audience to fund or reject different medicines. There seemed little support in the room for policies that make a special case for funding cancer or end of life drugs above other treatments for other diseases”. 

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