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From The Socialist newspaper, 19 October 2016

NHS cancer and dementia drugs 'unaffordable'

Nationalise the drugs companies!

photo University of Michigan/Creative Commons

photo University of Michigan/Creative Commons   (Click to enlarge)

Tom Barker, Leicester Socialist Party

The unrestrained profiteering of drugs companies means the NHS could start rejecting groundbreaking treatments for cancer and dementia as "unaffordable".

A number of dementia treatments are now in late-stage trials. If one proves successful in slowing the onset of the disease, and is subsequently approved by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice), it will now be subject to a further affordability review by NHS chiefs.

Because Nice will have to approve the terms of restrictions as "reasonable", bosses at NHS England claim this will not mean access to life-saving medicines is denied or delayed. But Nice also has affordability at its core.

All patients are legally entitled to treatments on the NHS, provided Nice approves them as cost-effective. In practical terms, this means costing less than 30,000 for every year of good quality life a treatment provides.

The Tories plan to slash a further 22 billion from the NHS budget by 2020. It is difficult to imagine that an extra affordability review will benefit patients.

Alongside private healthcare, the pharmaceutical industry extorts vast profits from the NHS. The NHS in England spent 15.5 billion on medicines in 2014-15 - a rise of 19.4% since 2010-11.

So that they are run for human need rather than private profit, the pharmaceutical industry must be brought into public ownership under democratic workers' control and management. And NHS cuts and sell-offs must be halted and reversed.

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In The Socialist 19 October 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

NHS at breaking Point

Teachers working 60 hours need strikes, not studies

Elderly care at crisis point

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NHS cancer and dementia drugs 'unaffordable'

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Related links:

Pharmaceutical:

triangleEnd profiteering from health - nationalise big pharma

triangle300 NHS nurse suicides in seven years - fully fund our health service now!

triangleCash-starved health service ripped off by big pharma - fund our NHS now!

triangleNationalise big pharma: end this profit-driven NHS crisis

triangleBlood transfusion scandal

NHS:

triangleKeep the pressure on to save Royal Glam A&E

triangleNHS debt so high it can't be repaid - so don't pay it!

triangleUnnecessary surgery scandal shows need for democratic control of NHS

triangleNHS: Fight for full funding!

Drugs:

triangleAnger after violent youth deaths - Communities need public services not cuts

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triangleSave our NHS

Nationalise:

triangleBezos gives $10bn for climate - nationalise the rest!

triangleNationalise the railways: For an integrated public transport system

Public ownership:

triangleLabour leadership contest and public ownership

Cuts:

triangleStop the council cuts

Health:

triangleAusterity kills

Healthcare:

triangleCoronavirus exposes capitalism's weaknesses in healthcare and economy

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