Friday, 28 April 2017

Leading health academics find Cancer Drugs Fund a dangerous waste of money

The Daily Telegraph reports that a study by King's College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine labels the Conservatives' Cancer Drugs Fund “a 'quick-fix' election promise that wasted more than a £1 billion and left dying patients in agony”. It seemed from the start to be a gimmick that played on English electors' deep-seated emotions, to the benefit of multi-national drug companies rather than to the NHS as a whole. The latest study, and the changes that have been made to the policy, tend to confirm this view. The report in the normally Conservative-supporting Telegraph goes on to say that the analyis "concluded that less than half of the drugs provided by the fund had undergone adequate clinical trials before being used, and the average median life extension they afforded was just 3.2 months. The study also pointed to evidence suggesting the medicines were too toxic for some patients, forcing them to abandon treatment."

If Andrew RT Davies's Welsh Conservatives had had their way in the 2016 Assembly elections, the NHS in Wales would have been burdened with a cancer drugs fund. However, the response by Carwyn Jones and Vaughan Gething, the New Treatments Fund, appears to be open to the same criticisms as the English scheme.

No comments: