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to think 90000 is a small price to pay to increase people with cancer lifes

(188 Posts)
suziepra Fri 08-Aug-14 06:44:46

I can't believe the NHS know a drug is effective but refuse to pay it! I don't care how much it costs, print the money and let people live for as long as possible!

Altinkum Fri 08-Aug-14 06:47:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsD0nnaLyman Fri 08-Aug-14 06:49:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

monal Fri 08-Aug-14 06:50:58

How effective is effective though? Is it going to give someone a few weeks extra? And what is their quality of life going to be like during those extra weeks? Who says it's effective? The drug company selling it for £90 000 a pop?

doziedoozie Fri 08-Aug-14 06:51:38

The drug is effective to extend life by around 6 months, not to cure them.

Flangeshrub Fri 08-Aug-14 06:57:24

rubbish! This wouldn't (doesn't) work. You end up in the ridiculous situation we are in of having drugs (and people expecting them) that can extend someone's life by two weeks. And for the privilege we the tax payer pays thousands and thousands of pounds.

Unless we are all happy to pay 10% or more tax per year ( and that's just the cancer patients). Let's give all the other diseases every single drug that might extend their life by a few months.

If we are extending these people's lives they will need more hospital beds, hospice beds, nurses, doctors, HCAs, equipment, benefits etc. because they won't be WELL. They are still dying and very sick, we have merely moved the end date further away.

My personal opinion is that many people are already over treated. They receive treatment that ruins the last days of their life and for small gains they often die sick, bald, septic, swollen and weak.

Spend a week in a chemotherapy unit and see how you feel then. Talk to the staff and the patients and their families.

OldFarticus Fri 08-Aug-14 06:58:45


My friend's cancer became operable as a result of a drug the NHS refused to fund because it didn't offer enough time/quality of life. She went from palliative care only to cancer-free in the space of a year. I am sure her young family are very happy that her parents had the money to pay for it.

To pay for modern cancer drugs I would reform the NHS pension system and charge for hotel costs for in-patients along with some types of elective surgery, but I would prefer to see a European-style social insurance system rather than the current one.

OldFarticus Fri 08-Aug-14 07:02:34

Flange - have you ever been "sick, bald, septic, swollen and weak"? I have, and I promise that I still very much wanted to live!

Happily I did, and spent many happy tax and NI paying years after my recovery. It's a slippery slope when we start making decisions about others' quality of life, which is very personal and subjective.

DamnBamboo Fri 08-Aug-14 07:06:06

They don't have enough money and guess what, they need to make a few billion savings over the next few years too.

DamnBamboo Fri 08-Aug-14 07:06:45

And actually, no £90k is not a small price to pay.
It may be worth it, but it's not a small price at all.

7to25 Fri 08-Aug-14 07:07:27

I honestly think that at the moment a game of poKer is being played with the manufacturers. The government are looking for a price reduction.
There are guidelines for how much money they will spend for every added month and this falls outside the guidelines.

bluevanman Fri 08-Aug-14 07:07:36

YABU! If it's a small price to pay then pay it yourself?
No point wasting (yes wasting) £90000 to keep someone alive for another few weeks/ months of pain just because you're too selfish to say goodbye. We've all got to die of something.
And yes all my relatives who have died in my lifetime have been finished off by a cancer

BikeRunSki Fri 08-Aug-14 07:11:00

The thing is, the government knows how to save/improve lives in many ways. I have shelves full of strategy documents to prevent flooding (yes, people do die in big floods, and the after effects of restoring a flood damaged house are horrible; my counterparts at the Highways Agency will say they know how to improve road safety; there will be other drugs to help other illnesses that the NHS don't use. The police, fire service, social services - they could all point you at ways to spend public money to save lives.

The places where money is spent are very carefully considered. In my field (flood risk management) I have to go through pretty complex cost:benefit analysis, looking at social, people/property numbers and environmental issue amongst others.

TobyZiegler Fri 08-Aug-14 07:16:09

It is difficult. The NHS can't fund everything and unfortunately that is why someone has to make these decisions. These drugs cost the pharmaceutical company a massive amount of money in the research and development stage (even if manufacture of the drug is ultimately cheap) they have to recoup the cost in order to fund more research.

Someone has looked at this drug in detail and had to make a decision. If you're personally effected that doesn't seem fair but it has to be this way. The NHS just can't provide every single drug that is developed.

giraffescantboogie Fri 08-Aug-14 07:25:15

Unfortunately cancer is not the only illness that kills. There are thousands of rare diseases and genetic conditions. These people would also want their lives extended. It is also It needs to be cost effective long term. Which is where evidence from clinical trials come in.

Agggghast Fri 08-Aug-14 07:46:59

Like OldF I have had cancer and am back working paying tax etc. I would happily have done anything to live longer even on the worst days. I gather this is just the latest of a long line of breast cancer drugs NICE have refused to fund. Seeing the young mother on TV this morning who clearly was being allowed a good quality of life with her four children, £90k seems very cheap compared to say paying for a years care for a 90 year old dementia sufferer. But I would not be able to make that decision however somebody is going to have to eventually.

Agggghast Fri 08-Aug-14 07:48:49

Btw great name Toby, one of my secret crushes!

eyebags63 Fri 08-Aug-14 07:55:10

I agree with giraffescantboogie. Cancer seems to get special coverage in the media and causes outrage when people can't get the latest super duper expensive drug/treatment on demand.

All treatments need to be proven to work, safe and cost effective. Many of these very expensive drugs and treatments only extend (poor quality) life for a few months at most. It may sound harsh but someone has to decide if this is a cost effective and wise use of NHS resources.

sashh Fri 08-Aug-14 08:00:50

It is available through the end of life funding in England. It is not in Wales (according to what I have just heard on radio 4).

In Wales prescriptions are free, no idea how much that costs to fund, maybe paying for scripts could fund it.

BMW6 Fri 08-Aug-14 08:05:12

This drug is effective for 1 in 5 and can extend life by 6 months. Costs £90,000 per patient.

Sorry, but it is NOT an efficient use of NHS funds. I know life is precious and to the patient 6 months is invaluable to them, but there is not an endless pot of money.

Funding should be used to CURE conditions and take the pain out of dying for the uncurable. Priority to children of course.

It sounds horrible to talk of money when it comes to a persons life - but there is NEVER going to be enough money to pay for every treatment that is developed (which costs millions and many years), no matter what Government is in power or how much is raised by more taxation.

Spero Fri 08-Aug-14 08:09:43

Op, it's a quality of life issue. I am so glad my mum died quickly at home before the mad plans to biopsy her and give her chemo - which may have extended her life by a few months but she would have spent a lot of that in hospital, possibly feeling awful.

I have had chemo and if my cancer comes back I won't have it again. I would rather die than extend my life by a few miserable months.

I think £90k sounds like a lot of money. Public funds aren't finite. You can't just keep printing money - google what was happening in Germany in the 1930s. I think it ended up with people needing a wheelbarrow of money to buy a loaf of bread.

Spero Fri 08-Aug-14 08:11:04

Oops, meant public funds aren't infinite.

Princesselsaanna Fri 08-Aug-14 08:13:38


Princesselsaanna Fri 08-Aug-14 08:13:38


SevenZarkSeven Fri 08-Aug-14 08:13:52

Oldfarticus how do you mean, pay for hotel costs for in patients?

Which elective surgeries would you charge for?

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