Despite Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, suggesting the NHS is Labour’s “comfort zone” at a speech in London on Saturday, 43 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement: “Theresa May and the Conservatives would do a better job than Jeremy Corbyn and Labour managing the NHS this winter”. Around 30 per cent agreed that Mr Corbyn and Labour would do a better job than the Tories, while 26 per cent responded “don’t know”.
Apparently the Tories are now more trusted on the NHS than Labour. Perhaps that’s why the BBC is blitzing us with so many tales of crisis in the NHS just now…and hardly blinking as ‘Big Pharma’ tried to blackmail the government into spending more on its drugs demanding £20 billion be pumped into the NHS or else….Normally ‘Big Pharma’ is the evil face of capitalism writ large…not now, during an election, as it demands more money for the NHS.
The Tories introduced the Cancer Drug Fund in 2010 to provide drugs that were not considered to be the most cost effective by NICE to patients. Today the BBC has been bombarding us with loud criticism of the fund from the Prof. Richard Sullivan who tells us that the fund is an expensive and maybe even dangerous waste of time…
The Cancer Drugs Fund in England was a “huge waste of money” and may have caused patients to suffer unnecessarily from the side effects of the drugs, according to UK researchers.
The fund ran from 2010 to 2016, costing £1.27bn, following an election promise made by the Conservatives to pay for cancer drugs the NHS was not funding.
The choice of words by Sullivan indicates this attack on the Tory policy is highly political….
‘A huge waste of money’…’patients suffering unnecessarily.
“policy on the hoof” because of the way it was announced.
“Populism doesn’t work when you are dealing with complex areas of policy like this. When it was launched it was not monitored properly. It was politically and intellectually lazy.”
‘Populism’? Hmmm…it has been the BBC itself that has helped drive politicians to take such measures. The BBC has relentlessly given a platform to campaigners who demand drugs that NICE would not approve and fund….the BBC has provided massive publicity and backing for these campaigns…and undoubtedly half those radio awards that Victoria Derbyshire got, who specialised in these sort of stories, were for such reports. The BBC has driven that ‘populism’.
You might also ask why this has suddenly made the news headlines….because this study by Sullivan was released in March this year….and only now making BBC headlines as an election is under way……any chance this is a bit of flagrant opportunism by Sullivan who knows that the BBC will lap this stuff up and give it an enormous profile?…Whatever you think of the CDF the criticism here is politically motivated, certainly by the BBC….
- AuthorsRichard Sullivan + 1
- Annals of Oncology0: 1–13, 2017
- Results:Of the 47 CDF approved indications, only 18 (38%) reported a statistically significant OS benefit, with an overall mediansurvival of 3.1months (1.4–15.7months). When assessed according to clinical benefit scales, only 23 (48%) and 9 (18%) of the 47drug indications met ASCO and ESMO criteria, respectively. NICE had previously rejected 26 (55%) of the CDF approvedindications because they did not meet cost-effectiveness thresholds. Four drugs—bevacizumab, cetuximab, everolimus andlapatinib—represented the bulk of CDF applications and were approved for a total of 18 separate indications. Thirteen of theseindications were subsequently delisted by the CDF in January 2015 due to insufficient evidence for clinical benefit—data whichwere unchanged since their initial approval.Conclusions:We conclude the CDF has not delivered meaningful value to patients or society. There is no empirical evidenceto support a ‘drug only’ ring fenced cancer fund relative to concomitant investments in other cancer domains such as surgeryand radiotherapy, or other noncancer medicines. Reimbursement decisions for all drugs and interventions within cancer careshould be made through appropriate health technology appraisal processes.
Sullivan used to work for Cancer Research UK [‘populist’ pressure group?]….funny how back then cost effectiveness wasn’t so much an issue…as long as any small benefit of a drug could be shown then NICE should fund it…..
Disappointment over NICE’s ruling on kidney drugs
Experts have greeted with dismay apreliminary decision by the UK’s Na-tional Institute for Health and ClinicalExcellence (NICE) on new agents forthe treatment of renal cell carcinoma(RCC). NICE stated that: ‘Bevacizumab,sorafenib, sunitinib and temsirolimusare not recommended as treatment options for advanced and/or meta-static RCC.’People currently receiving the drugs should have the option to continue therapy until they and their clinicians consider it appropriate to stop, NICE said. The recommendations were made in an appraisal consultation document and, at the time of writing, comments were still being received. NICE stated that the recommendations ‘are preliminary and may change after consultation.’ In the meantime, 25 professors of cancer medicine complained about the decision in a letter to the national newspaper, the Sunday Times.
‘We are dismayed at the decision by NICE on the rationing of drugs for patients with advanced kidney cancer,’ they wrote. ‘Once again, NICE has shown how poorly it assesses new cancer treatments. Its economic formulae are simply not suitable for addressing cost effectiveness in this area of medicine. Mean survivals obscure the fact the some patients will obtain prolonged benefit from these drugs. It is essential that NICE gets its sums right.’ Cancer Research UK also expressed concern, and called for a change in the way NICE reviews the value of drugs for rare diseases, where clinical benefitis proven but evidence is limited. Professor Peter Johnson, the charity’s chief clinician, said, ‘We are disappointed at NICE’s view that although these drugs are clinically effective,their high price means that they arenot considered to be value for moneyfor the National Health Service. These drugs have shown a small but definite improvement in an illness where there are few alternative treatments. If this decision stands it will be very frustrating for cancer patients and their clinicians . ‘Although we understand that NICE often has to make difficult decisions,in this case there is a clear separation between what NICE finds to be valuable treatment, and clinical and patient opinion. Action is needed to bring these two positions closer together.’