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Are modern cancer drugs worth the money?

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herceptin.jpgWhat price a longer life?

Britain’s National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) reckons four new drugs for kidney cancer are not cost effective, even though they may extend patients’ lives by several months.

The complex calculations used by the watchdog show the drugs, which can cost over 30,000 pounds per patient a year, are just too expensive, given the limited benefits they provide.

NICE estimates using the medicines would cost between 71,500 and 171,300 pounds for every year of healthy life gained.

NICE argues it has to make hard choices about rationing healthcare if other areas are not to suffer; that’s what an equitable health service is all about.

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