The Interventions by Politicians
Some politicians in order to attract votes in campaigns, use cancer as part of their manifesto pledges. David Cameron the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in a populist gesture made a pledge that caught the headlines a few years ago. This pledge was to set up a cancer drugs fund. The fund was to give NHS patients in England the opportunity to get access to drugs not normally given to cancer patients. It was then established in 2011, and it immediately became popular among patients, politicians, and the pharmaceutical industry. Some of these drugs are regarded as “cutting edge” are designed to either improve quality of life or provide life extension normally for 2 to 3 months. However, the fund has attracted criticism from a lot of medical scientists.
Karl Claxton professor of health economics at the University of York wrote in the New Scientists “Instead, the Cancer Drugs Fund has enabled manufacturers to sell their drugs to the NHS at prices beyond those it can normally afford. The fund was originally proposed as a temporary measure until a price negotiation mechanism with manufacturers was in place. This has not happened. As a consequence, the problem that NHS patients face in accessing new cancer drugs continues to be their high prices.” One of the drugs that has been called into question is Kadcyla costing £90,000 that helps breast cancer patients extend their lives by 5.8 months. Many scientists believe that the costs of drugs like Kadcyla are so expensive for the benefits it provides.
Looking at these costs one hand, i have decided to look at the statistics relating to survival rates. For the top twenty cancer in the UK for the years 1991-2001 and 2001 and 2011