A lot of Americans were delighted to hear that, once Barack Obama was elected, absolutely everyone would be getting exactly the same kind of health care enjoyed by US senators. If you believed that, you need to talk to me about this bridge I have for sale.
Today’s Daily Mail has a story illustrating how government-provided health services really work: by rationing.
Thousands of patients with terminal cancer were dealt a blow last night after a decision was made to deny them life prolonging drugs.
The Government’s rationing body said two drugs for advanced breast cancer and a rare form of stomach cancer were too expensive for the NHS.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is expected to confirm guidance in the next few weeks that will effectively ban their use.
The move comes despite a pledge by Nice to be more flexible in giving life-extending drugs to terminally-ill cancer patients after a public outcry last year over ‘death sentence’ decisions. Leading campaigners last night said Nice had failed the ‘acid test’ of whether it really intended to give new priority to people with just a few months to live.
One drug, Lapatinib, can halve the speed of growth of breast cancer in one in five women with an aggressive form of the disease.
Dr Gillian Leng, Nice deputy chief executive, said ‘The committee concluded that Lapatinib is not a cost-effective use of NHS resources when compared with current treatment.’
Up to 1,500 stomach cancer patients also face a ban on Sutent â€“ the only drug that can extend their lives.