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Thursday, 27 July 2006 09:29
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
Cancer drug not advised for NHS in England
Bone cancer victims in England will not be given Velcade a life-prolonging drug - although it is available to patients in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The drug which can put the cancer into remission and dramatically improve life expectancy is also available in every other developed country in the world.

But yesterday the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) refused to approve Velcade for use in England on the NHS, saying it is not 'cost-effective'.

Eric Low, of the International Myeloma Foundation, said: “This is a shocking and devastating decision.

“It is unjust, unfair and ill-informed. We have missed a golden opportunity here.

“It is hard not to feel that we are being discriminated against as a less well-known, rarer cancer, because of the recent positive rulings on a number of big cancer drugs, such as Herceptin, which will undoubtedly put enormous pressure on NHS budgets.

“This will leave myeloma in the desert of cancer care treatment”.


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