I heard the news this morning whilst I was still in Brighton. I couldnt believe it at first.....
NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) has turned down approval for all FOUR kidney cancer drugs.
ALL of them. Sutent, Nexavar, Avastin and Torisel.
So thats that. According to NICE we (advanced kidney cancer patients) should just give up and die - quickly and quietly.
The clinical effectiveness of these drugs is beyond dispute - NICE even admitted that. But its the cost they wont approve.
And yet a mere few months ago Gordon Brown said 'No patient will be denied any drug on the NHS on cost alone'.
Im stunned and shocked and distressed by this news. I have funding which will continue, but any patient applying now will be turned down. No PCT will approve funding now - even if the final decision isnt applicable until Janurary.
When countries such as Mexico, Argentina and Korea fund these drugs rountinely is it any wonder we, here in the UK, are considered a 3rd world country as far as cancer treatment is concerned?
(Just wanted to add Ive been off Sutent for just 4 days now and I feel GREAT ! All side effects virtually gone. I shall start taking it again next week. And in future I shall listen to Dr P when he warns me a particular course may be 'challenging' !!)