High Court orders NHS England to fund narcolepsy drug

15 Jun 2016

Mr Justice Collins has handed down judgment in R (S) v NHS England, a claim in relation to the refusal by NHS England to fund the narcolepsy drug sodium oxybate (Xyrem) for a 17 year old girl. S was represented by Ian Wise QC and Stephen Broach, instructed by Hodge Jones and Allen.

At the conclusion of the hearing on 4 May 2016 the Judge made an interim order requiring NHS England to fund a three month trial of sodium oxybate. The judgment handed down today gives the Judge’s reasons for overturning the refusal of funding. In essence, the Judge found that NHS England erred in rejecting an ‘Individual Funding Request’ made on the basis that S had an exceptional need for the medication.

The Judge held that ‘a decision to refuse the treatment could not be supportable’ and that ‘this is a very rare case in which the decision making has gone wrong.’ There were failures by the Defendant to have regard to all the matters raised by the Claimant’s treating clinician and an ‘altogether too restrictive application of exceptionality’.

The full judgment is available here.

Please see article here.