‘Horror story’ for thousands as cancer patients are denied ‘miracle’ drug on the NHS

Jennifer Hope
The Daily Mail [UK]
6 May 2010

Thousands of cancer sufferers are set to be denied a ‘miracle’ drug on the NHS [National Health Service] that is routinely used in virtually every other Western country.

The Government’s rationing body says Avastin is not cost-effective despite evidence that it can prolong the lives of bowel cancer patients by more than two years.

The final decision is due next month, but NICE, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, has already made clear the cost breaches its threshold for NHS use.

Ten times as many patients get Avastin paid for by private health insurers than on the health service.

The NICE veto would represent the first major test of a Tory pledge to fund all cancer drugs if the party wins the General Election.

Last night Tory health spokesman Andrew Lansley said: ‘We will ensure through our new cancer drugs fund that patients will be able to get the drugs that their doctors say they need.

That is what patients expect and deserve.’

Around 35,000 Britons develop bowel cancer each year, of whom up to 5,000 with advanced cancer could benefit from the drug.

Read the complete article at the Daily Mail.

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