EU may change rules that will effect treatment in this country

Hi all

I received this email that I have copied and pasted in from one of my bosses today.

On a serious note, I heard an article on Good Morning Scotland today that suggested that the European Commission is expected to rule that a resident in the EU who has to go to another country in the EU for medical treatment that is not available in his/her own one will be able to claim back treatment costs from their own govt. Always wary about setting false hares running but might be worth getting the message to Diane or her folks in case they want to check it out further

It makes you wonder if the revision of the co-payment system is because they know of the above. In reality if the above is correct then they really need to make Avastin etc available to us all (even if there is a charge) or we will all be heading to the likes of Germany and claiming money back! I don’t know anymore other than what is written above but will be looking into it. If anybody else has any information on this or can guide me in the correct direction on who I should be writing to to find out about this then please let me know.


As far as I understand it the idea is that patients will need to pay up front first then claim cost back from national health care system .
I heard a spokesperson for government say that NHS will retain the right to decide which treatments they will reimburse,
Also I think you need some sort of written approval from NHS that they will reimburse costs before having treatment abroad.
Only caught the end of discussion so hope I haven’t got the wrong end of the stick.
Would be interested to know more from any one more knowledgeable,

However if it came to it presumably you could have top up treatment abroad[pay yourself]without compromising NHS entitlement.The logistics would be complex but it could be an Valxx

Interesting point - top up availble in EU - surely another reason to chuck out co payment ban.

this was my point when on BBC breakfast avastin is cheaper in France so why would we pay thousands more here.
The whole situation gets me sooooooooooo mad! My cousin had a hip op in Spain while staying at her apartment she tripped went to the clinic and before she knew it new hip, nice room all to herself with bathroom atercare second to none.

Love Debsxxx

Does anybody know how much avastin is here and how much it is in France


Hi Diane
I was told by onc it would cost 60kfor my treatment then inFeb this year I was told price had been capped at28k will try and find out definate price tomorrow from Dr for Reform.

Love Debsxxx

Is that just the avastin debs?

“The French healthcare system is funded by the working population. French employees pay about 20 per cent of their gross salary – the self-employed pay even more - deducted at source, to fund the social security system, known as Sécurité sociale. A significant proportion of this money goes towards public healthcare, to which every legal resident of France has access under the law of universal coverage called la Couverture maladie universelle.”

The above is taken from this website

I think the European countries which have the highest standards of treatment, pay far more for their services than we do. I think this is why there is the discrepancy in costs.



Think the explanation is quite complicated, and appealing to my accountants brain. …not sure I understand it. We now have near average European spending on health, but low spending on cancer compared to europe.

Definitely the French pay more in for cancer, and they may be able to provide the drugs cheaper as the drug company sells the drugs to the french health service cheaper - ie discounts for volume. I think Avastin (and just taking that as an example) may genuinely cost more in this country it is priced that way by the drug companies. The cost of the drugs is the greatest input in the care - I have seen the bills for my insurance,

I think this is one of the reasons that the government has to move on co pay- it could be challenged in the european court of human rights I would think. If you are stopped from moving around Europe to buy healthcare by the penalty of being charged for your NHS entitlement - well thats just not on! It wont stand up.


I agree with you Cathy, even in a perfect world a drug wouldn’t be lisenced one day and on the NHS the next and nobody should have to die waiting. In Scotland the onc are not allowed to go to the trust a fight your corner as they can in England either.

I met a guy that worked in the pharmacutical (may be spelt wrong) industry and he was explaining to me that from start to finish it takes a company 12 years to get a drug to the stage when it lisenced and on average cost £800 million. At the beginning the company patent the the drug for 15 years so they really only have 3 years left to make their money back making the drug expensive. I think our NHS deliberately milk it until the patent is up so that the other drug companies will offer it cheaper. It certainly looks like thats what they have done with Avastin, which is due to go up now and a decision will be made next year. Makes you wonder eh!



I have started a new thread in current issues about the NICE decision on avastin last week.

I heard on the news that the UK will only allow the remursment if you can get the treatment CHEAPER !!! than the UK. So i suppose that would be an easy get out if places like here in France get the drugs cheaper etc.
I can vouch (spelling?) for the amount of money we pay in over here for health care - it can be an amazing huge amount, but we get the rewards if we are sick. Plus we have to pay for a mutual which is a top up insurance as unless you have a chronic problem (cancer and heart etc etc) you only get rembused a % of the treatment or cost. These top ups are not cheap ontop of what we have to pay into SS. However if you have cancer etc you have 100% coverage for any drugs etc associated with it. I even got my sleeping pills on it and these latest things for ‘down below’ :slight_smile: but our top up is about 70 Euros per month.

Here in Spain drug prices are not even a factor, if you need it you get it.
However there are no hospices as such or Macmillan type nurses.
The ups and downs I suppose.

Hi all,

You are right, Diane, it is partly the pharma companies holding us to ransom. I worked in science publishing for many years and the pharmaceutical journals made by far the most money. No one is going to pay for research into parasitology to cure malaria e.g., but a rich western country is a different kettle of fish. Also agree, with you, Cathy, it is very complicated and obviously we should all have the same rights within the EU.


Hi all
Terry my mum and dad live in Salou in 2003 mumwas sent home from Tarragonna hospital as there was nothing more could be done for her each day for the next 2 months a doctor a nurse and a social security worker came to the house to check all was o.k. I was told this was their equivalent to our Macmillan service. I can say they were really wonderful.
Horace yes it was just avastin but I do know of one lady being treated for bowel and lung cancer who has been refused nhs is paying alot more.
Diane have rung Drs for reform and waiting call back.

Hope everyone is o.k.

Love Debsxxx

Hi Debs

It will be interesting to see what they have to say about it. Maybe it’s because of this that they are looking at co-payment. It didn’t say in the article that you had to have it free it said if the medicine wasn’t available in the
country you satyed in.

If the government has known that this was coming it would make sense that suddenly they are reviewing the system. This would make people stay and pay for it in this country. The way it’s set up at the moment would mean we could go to France and Germany for drugs not available on the NHS and charge them back - that wouldn’t go down well they would be worse off.

Probably barking up the wrong tree but I wouldn’t put anything past them!!



Don’t know if this is relevant but the French government have been changing the rules lately to bar any except urgent medical treatment to anyone who has not got a contribution record in France (eg British retirees settling in France…). It’s probably illegal under EU law but it will take ages for it to come to court and be stopped. However this applies to free treatment, or at least as free as it is to the French, who do pay a proportion of treatment and then claim it back to varying degrees. On the other hand if the British government has to refund treatment costs…
It all promises to get very complicated!
Actually what I do like about the French system ( I lived there for 19 years and my primary breast cancer was treated there) is the different way health insurance works. Because the state funds 100% of any treatment of life-threatening conditions there is no trouble getting health insurance however ill you are. It funds ‘extras’, such as a private room, home nursing etc and minor conditions, teeth, glasses etc… There is absolutely no problem with mixing state and private funding - in fact that’s how it is supposed to work.

Mamon - in your brakets you missed off Early retirees of a non pensionable age as pensioners are still entitled.