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British drug association fails to win judicial review of new cost rules

A trade association of biopharmaceutical companies in the U.K. failed in its attempt to secure a judicial review of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence's new cost rules for drugs.

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry sought to challenge NICE's policy that limits funding of medicines expected to cost the National Health Service more than £20 million per year in any of the first three years of use.

High Court Honourable Justice Elisabeth Laing rejected the association's application, the Financial Times reported Oct. 4.

Commenting on the matter, NHS England said the court has rejected the trade association's "flawed legal maneuvers which the judge said would 'produce an absurd result,'" the news outlet reported.

"Rather than attempting to further frustrate NICE and the NHS' work to ensure patients and taxpayers get maximum value out of the £15 billion being spent on drugs, it now makes sense to work together towards that shared goal," the NHS said.

The trade body expressed disappointment on the decision and said it will take time to "reflect on the judgment" with its members and decide the next steps.