Three charities have written to The Times, expressing concerns about proposed new ‘affordability tests’ for accessing new treatments on the NHS. The letter was signed by Mark Flannagan, Chief Executive, Beating Bowel Cancer; Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive, Alzheimer’s Society and Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive, Breast Cancer Now.

The letter states that the changes, put forward by NHS England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), would see patients taking a “back seat to financial considerations”.

The letter continues to note concerns that even if a treatment was cost-effective, the proposed test would mean the total price tag could be deemed too great. “[T]his is rationing, pure and simple” state the authors.

The letters makes particular reference to patients with cancer (and dementia), stating that for these condition areas the change could be “devastating”.

The letter can be read in full here.