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Thursday, 19 November 2009

NHS turn down Liver Cancer drug on cost

I know that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has to think of all the patients and the costs of all drugs for the NHS.

However, surely if there is a drug available that helps liver cancer patients live longer then that has to be a price worth paying.

Not everything in life should be about cost, and perhaps NICE and the Government, who claim they are taking cancer seriously should then approach the drug companies and say right then, we have this many people in the UK diagnosed with this cancer, we will commit to purchasing enough of the product for all these people for three years and can you therefore reduce the overall cost?

NICE says the drug sorafenib costs too much to make treatment worthwhile - what utter crap, I would like to see the head of NICE, Andrew Dillon go and explain that to the person suffering from liver cancer and their immediate family instead of hiding behind a desk.

It is easy for him and his team to write it on a piece of paper and shove that on a website but it is the dedicated nurses and doctors on the frontline who then have to explain it to the patients and family face to face.

The decision by NICE will leave nearly 3,000 patients a year with only palliative, end-of-life care instead of offering hope.

The drug costs around £2,200 a month for one patient, but NICE says in draft recommendations to the NHS that the cost is too great. Surely it is for the NHS to decide not NICE, shouldn't NICE just make recommendations?

Chief executive Andrew Dillon said to Sky News: "The simply too high to justify using NHS money which could be spent on better value cancer treatments."

If Gordon Brown had the balls he would stand up to NICE and the drugs companies and say NO, we want this drug, we want to improve the lives of these people suffering from this awful disease and then set his Secretary of State for Health the job of negotiating the price, perhaps if we looked at some joined up thinking with Scotland and perhaps even other European countries to reduce the cost?

Come on people, let us think outside the box for a solution to pay for it, not just accept the original price from the drug company and the recommendation from NICE and then give up.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

People are dying and Bubbles Lamont pursues personal glory at our expense. BBC News this afternoon.
It's an unpleasant world sometimes.

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