August 11, 2008
Four Cancer Drugs Rejected
COVENTRY health chiefs are supporting a draft decision to reject four new cancer drugs for patients with advanced kidney cancer.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) decided that sunitinib, bevacizumab, sorafenib and Torisel are not a cost-effective use of NHS cash.
For example bevacizumab costs around pounds 23,000 per patient per year.
Dr Peter Barker, public health consultant at Coventry Teaching Primary Care Trust (PCT) said: "Coventry PCT is supportive of the draft Nice document which states that these drugs are not cost- effective at the levels of funding available within the NHS.
"The PCT is committed to effective commissioning in achieving the best outcomes from public monies. Allocating funds involves balancing a range of factors to make sure the PCT achieves maximum health gain and best quality with the resources available forpatients."
But the decision is a devastating blow to kidney cancer sufferers.
Cancer charities have expressed outrage at the decision.
DJ James Whale, who lost a kidney to cancer in 2000, said the guidance would "mean an early death sentence for many" if it was not revised.
Mr Whale, who founded the James Whale Fund for Kidney Cancer, said: "The treatment options previously available to us in the kidney cancer community have been limited and inadequate for the majority of patients."
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