A new report has suggested that price guidelines from drug watchdog the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) may be too high for the NHS to afford.
Nice calculated that if a drug was effective enough to give an extra year of good quality life, the NHS would be able to pay up to £30,000 for it.
However, research from think tank the King's Fund and City University has suggested that this is beyond the NHS's affordability.
Currently, the NHS is only able to afford £12,000 for heart disease treatments, which is said to be one of the key areas of health focus.
Speaking to the BBC, City University's Professor Nancy Devlin said: "Even if £20,000 to £30,000 was the right threshold when Nice was set up, in the current NHS, where there is far less money to spend, it doesn't appear to be now."
If the Nice threshold level was reduced, it is thought that many drugs and treatments may be rejected as they would not be affordable under the NHS, and patients would need to seek private treatment
Private hospital news : 29/08/2007