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FEATURE PHARMACY


In the right circumstances, Imperial Private Healthcare will support patients to access medicines that have not yet been licensed for their condition.


S The View


ometimes patients may wish to explore as many different drug options as possible, especially if they have a life-threatening condition such as cancer.


We understand that patients may wish to do this, especially when their cancer is progressing or they have a poor prognosis, and at Imperial Private Healthcare we will support a patient’s wishes to explore different treatment options that aren’t yet licensed for use by the NHS. The Trust follows strict governance processes before any such treatment is administered in order to ensure that it is clinically safe and appropriate to do so.


In the UK, medicines are licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) once they have been researched and tested in clinical trials. The licence includes information such as what health condition a drug should be used for, how long treatment should last and warnings about possible side effects.


Sometimes and especially when all other treatment options have been exhausted, a patient or their healthcare professional may want to try an unlicensed medicine. This could be a therapy which is still undergoing trials or which has been licensed to treat one type of tumour, for example, but not another. Patients can access novel therapies or


drugs not licensed to treat their specific condition by taking part in a clinical trial of that drug or by paying for it privately. Most importantly, our consultants will always discuss their clinical


recommendations including the benefits, risks and any alternatives in great detail with the patient before the patient makes a decision to use the treatment or not. Our consultants will only recommend an unlicensed medicine if they believe it could be effective and that the benefits outweigh any associated risk. In this way, we aim to give our patients as much choice as possible in terms of different treatments available to them while ensuring it is in their best interests to do so. V


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