News from the UK: Your cancer cured, or your money back

OK, that’s kind of a flip headline — but in truth, we like the fact that a drug company is willing to put its money where its mouth is for a change:

The company behind a life-extending cancer drug has offered to refund the NHS when patients fail to respond to treatment. Janssen-Cilag’s move means the Government’s health watchdog is now proposing to reverse a decision preventing bone cancer sufferers in England and Wales from being treated with bortezomib, commonly known as Velcade.

The U-turn follows an appeal by several cancer charities, which argued the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s initial rejection of Velcade six months ago was based mainly on cost grounds rather than effectiveness. Velcade was approved for use in Scotland in 1994, and can extend patients’ lives by more than two years…

Myeloma is one of the most aggressive cancers and can affect multiple organs. The life expectancy of a newly-diagnosed myeloma patient is three to five years. Nearly 4,000 people in Britain fall victim to the disease every year. The plan is out for consultation for three weeks and a final decision is expected in October.

Comments (1)

This is great news and I do not understand why some oppose this drug: what would you expect from the government: to reject the drug and maybe build a new alcohol rehab for underaged people?

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