England denied miracle bone cancer drug (but not the Celts)

The English have been denied a life-prolonging bone cancer drug - but the Welsh, Scots and Northern Irish can have it.

England denied miracle bone cancer drug
By EMILY COOK, Daily Mail

26th July 2006

Cruel Britannia: Our Scottish masters allow the Jocks, Taffs and Paddies access to bone cancer drugs, but not the English.

Bone cancer victims in England will not be given a life-prolonging drug - although it is available to patients in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The drug, Velcade, 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 refused to approve Velcade for use in England on the NHS, saying it is not 'cost-effective'.

Campaigners condemned the decision and claimed that money was being put ahead of lives.

More than 3,000 people die from bone and bone marrow cancer - called multiple myeloma - every year.

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.'

Over the past year, some doctors in England have been prescribing Velcade - also known as bortezomib - while the decision on approval was being considered.

Private treatment

But that could stop within the next two months, leaving patients to pay privately for the course of treatment which costs around 15,000.

The drug watchdog's recommendations cover England and Wales, but it is unlikely Welsh patients will be affected by the change as the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group has already approved its use.

Velcade has also been approved by the Scottish Medicines Consortium and the Regional Medical Specialities Consortium in Northern Ireland.

Bone cancer victims yesterday voiced their anger at the decision.

Malcolm Cole, from Fulbrook, Oxfordshire, said: 'This is a death sentence for me. It seems ridiculous that there is a drug that could keep me alive but NICE won't let me have access to it.'

Dr Kwee Hong, consultant haemotologist at University College Hospital, London, said she was very surprised at the decision.

She said: 'Velcade revolutionises patients' lives and really makes a huge difference. This is a big setback for myeloma sufferers.'

Yesterday's decision by NICE was an interim one, with a final verdict due in September.

A spokesman for the watchdog said: 'Healthcare professionals and members of the public now have the opportunity to comment on the provisional recommendations.'

It's probably because the British are so much better than everyone else, that they needn't take prescription medicine. My guess is that the British are so gentically superior to the French, for example, that the British are less susceptible to getting bone cancer. Further, I would offer that the British who do have bone cancer, count on their superior immune systems to ward off the disease without the necessity of modern medicine.

Of course, another possibility is that the British Parliament has been reading all of Blackleaf's posts on Canadian Content, and are afraid to act in a manner that would cast all of the British propaganda into doubt. I mean, with so many posts highlighting the superiority of the British Isle and her people, what kind of foolhardy government would publicly acknowledge that the British people are not resilient to diseases like cancer -- diseases that only the lowly world outside of Britain are susceptible to?

Ah, the wonderful British. They put on such a brave face, yet they suffer in silence because they are unwilling to acknowledge that they're full of themselves.

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