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UK: Cancer drug Avastin deemed to expensive, Ireland?




Sync

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Aug 27, 2009
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The absolute right call by the Health Board.

Avastin costs almost £21,000 per patient and an estimated 6,500 people per year could be eligible for the drug.

The study showed patients typically lived 21.3 months longer, compared with 19.9 months with chemotherapy alone.
That's £136 million a year which has to come from somewhere. There's no way that sort of cost is justified for such a relatively small benefit.
 

sumlulu

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Jan 25, 2008
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Unlikely, the disjointed thinking regarding prescribing in this country is appalling. Definitive guidelines are not laid down in the same manner as NICE or SIGN in the UK, and some of our more cavalier consultants will insist on prescribing certain drugs no matter what the evidence shows. Plus we are forgetting the Whineline brigade who will be up in arms if the HSE no longer funded this treatment..
 

Samell

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The absolute right call by the Health Board.



That's £136 million a year which has to come from somewhere. There's no way that sort of cost is justified for such a relatively small benefit.
At last someone standing up for logic and simple economics. How soon before they take all the IVF drugs off the drug pre-payment scheme, another massive drain on finances, :mad:
 

fiannafailure

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As a person who has cancer, and knows the effect that Chemotherapy drugs have on the quality of your life, I was considering agreeing with the people who stated that an extra 6 weeks of life is not worth 20 grand.

And then I read the article and was reminded yet again that the BS which emanates from the internet, re cancer and mortality, is not representative of the reality, people still die from cancer but not as many as even a few years ago.

from the refernced article

A teacher diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer today said she was extremely disappointed the health watchdog has turned down a "life-saving" drug for use on the NHS.

Barbara Moss, 55, (below) said she was "living proof" that Avastin works.

In November 2006, she was given three months to live after doctors discovered the cancer had spread to her liver. After two treatments of Avastin, her grapefruit-sized tumour shrank to half its size and she could have surgery. She has been in remission for 18 months.

Mrs Moss said the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) had put a "value on life" after it said the price was too high for the extra benefit it gives patients.

Moss, from Worcester, said: "To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. I am still here – alive.

"I have seen people dying who were less ill than I was. They could have been alive if they had it.

"It seems immoral to me that, as a result of negative Nice decisions like this one, people's choice of living or dying depends on whether they can afford a drug, because it isn't available to them on the NHS."
Thankfully I have now completed my chemo and radiotherapy and will have surgery next month, my prognosis is excellent and I intend to live for another 50 years.

And yet when looking up my form of the disease for the first time on the internet, I was confronted by news that the most optimistic survival rate I could expect was 10%, absolute BS as I found out later.
 

Sync

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No one on this thread has said it couldn't cure people. They're saying what the average is. Now it's different if they go to an individual patient and be able to say to a high degree of probability that the medicine will lead to remission. But for the vast majority that's not the case.

The authority have a responsibility to the population, not the individual patient in these sort of matters. For every person that lives 1 month beyond the average, you've got one person that dies one month earlier than the average. This is £135 million that has to come from the NHS Budget. Which patient service should be cut to provide for what appears to be a crap shoot?
 

cyberianpan

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Interesting follow on here

Cancer drugs: Pay for your own, and the NHS will shun you - Telegraph
Professor Mike Rawlins, the chairman of Nice, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, is admirably frank about his role: “The question is not whether care is rationed,” he insists, “but how.” He has pointed out that decisions about how to ration health care are going to get more acute in the next six years as three factors collide: Britain’s population increases by at least three million; the number of people over 74 rises by more than 20 per cent; and spending on the NHS is reduced, in real terms, by £20 billion.
This drug is still paid for by the HSE in Ireland.... should it be ?

Also disturbingly in the UK, if you pay for it yourself, you are effectively denied NHS healthcare
So despite the adoption of guidelines that appear to proclaim the opposite, the ban on co-payments is still largely in place: whether your local hospital is considered to have “separate facilities” is down to the whim of its administrators, who may have ideological objections to co-payments.
cYp
 

Old Mr Grouser

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.... This is £135 million that has to come from the NHS Budget. Which patient service should be cut to provide for what appears to be a crap shoot?
Agreed.

In the UK before the NHS was set up in 1948 the local councils used to run the hospitals, funded by the local ratepayers with assistance from central government funding. There were all sorts of stories about the sudden deaths of chronic invalids, and I honestly believe that it did happen. Money was very tight and the councils had to keep within their budgets.

If we are in for a thirty year slump and a sustained decline of all the western economies then I can see those things coming back. It's a type of triage.
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2010
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I am always wary about reports like this as they often are more about some other agenda than the real reasons why things are the way they are. Personally I think the NHS is a marvelous idea and the people who work there are for the most part a wonderful bunch of people. It's a shame that it's used for political ends.

Here's a more sensible look at the situation...
The power of anecdotes – Bad Science
 

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