Cancer patients condemned to early deaths by NICE’s cruelty
Patients with advanced kidney cancer are to be denied four life-extending treatments because the NHS says they are too expensive.
Charities expressed outrage at the decision, saying it left patients only one treatment option – interferon – to which many do not respond.
Professor John Wagstaff, from the South Wales Cancer Institute, said there was “no point” in him accepting referrals for people with advanced kidney cancer as around 75% of them “do not gain any real benefit” from interferon.
Broadcaster James Whale, who lost a kidney to cancer in 2000, said the guidance would “mean an early death sentence for many” if it were not revised.
” This is a reckless decision by people who have no idea of the consequences of what they are doing.” Broadcaster James Whales tells Sky News.
The medicines do not cure the cancer but extend a person’s life by a matter of months.
Patients already on the therapies should continue until they and their doctors consider it appropriate to stop, the guidance said.
Every year, up to 7,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with kidney cancer.
Professor Peter Littlejohns, clinical and public health director at Nice, said: “The decisions Nice has to make are some of the hardest in public life.
“NHS resources are not limitless and Nice has to decide what treatments represent best value to the patient as well as the NHS.
“Although these treatments are clinically effective, regrettably, the cost to
the NHS is such that they are not a cost-effective use of NHS resources.”
Prof Littlejohns said there were no treatments that reliably cured advanced kidney cancer.
Health Direct finds it disgusting that cancer sufferers are being condemned to an early death by labour’s pathetic cost cutting. They they find £80 million to fund a website and pay for the removal of 178,000 tattoos. Where’s the logic and fairness in their dithering?