The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is to deny at the High Court that it acted illegally when it banned an osteoporosis drug.
Servier Laboratories claims that NICE`s ruling that only the cheapest drug available may be prescribed is an abuse of the human rights of patients.
Backed by the National Osteoporosis Society, it says that the ruling ignores evidence that one in five patients cannot take this particular drug and that there are more effective alternatives.
The hearing before Mr Justice Holman at London’s High Court is expected to last three days. NICE denies that it has acted illegally.
A National Osteoporosis Society spokesman, Nick Rijke, said: “Already, there are more than 70,000 hip fractures a year which result in 13,000 deaths and cost the public purse £2.3 billion.
“Yet with effective treatment, many of these fractures could be prevented, not only saving lives but saving the taxpayer money at the same time.”
Copyright Press Association 2009