Health board give go-ahead to buy cheaper medicines

The health service is facing 'serious financial pressures'
The health service is facing 'serious financial pressures'

A proposal to swap out three “very expensive” drugs for the treatment of illnesses including hepatitis, arthritis and vision loss for low-cost alternatives has been approved by the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB).

The move is designed to save £3 million amid ongoing “serious financial pressures” faced by the health service.

The proposal by the Belfast Trust will affect rheumatoid arthritis patients, hepatitis C patients, and those being treated for a form of age-related macular degeneration known as ‘wet AMD’.

The HSCB also approved two other proposals to save £75,000 each at a special board meeting on Tuesday. The Northern Trust plans to bump up car parking charges on acute hospital sites, and the Southern Trust plans to change the way ‘community equipment’ is procured.