At it again with some more bad science. This really is a disgrace, exploiting this guy's death to push their anti NHS/NICE agenda.Former soldier who took on NHS bosses in fight to get life-saving drug dies of terminal cancer aged 37 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... ed-37.html
Life saving? I must have missed a memo. I didn't realise the cure for cancer had finally been found. Let me read on and check this out.
A former soldier who bravely took on penny-pinching NHS bosses in his fight to get a drug that could save his life has died of terminal cancer aged 37.
A bit less certainty, with a 'could', but the nevertheless, "could" save his life
Wife Karen, 33, revealed how her husband was forced to lie to doctors to get hold of the life-prolonging treatment that had been denied to him because of a cruel postcode lottery.
Ah, so by paragraph three Avastin has been downgraded from "life saving" to "life prolonging".
I know I've referred to this before, but here are some facts from Dr. Ben Goldacre.
This drug has been studied in a large randomised trial of 1401 patients receiving either chemotherapy with Avastin, or chemotherapy with placebo.
The trial isn’t perfect – no trial is, you can read the details online - but it gives the best estimate of the true benefit of this drug, and overall, it shows that Avastin extends survival from 19.9 months to 21.3 months, which is about 6 weeks. Some people might benefit more, some less. For some, Avastin might even shorten their life, and they would have been better off without it (and without its additional side effects, on top of their other chemotherapy). But overall, on average, when added to all the other treatments, Avastin extends survival from 19.9 months to 21.3 months. http://www.badscience.net/2010/08/in-pr ... anecdotes/
Rationing healthcare resources is a soul-destroying and unavoidable horror, in which some people who are dearly loved will always die, and this makes it an irresistible magnet for questionable behaviour from people who are happy to release themselves from the burden of being realistic about difficult decisions.
Journalists can exploit these impossible decisions for outrage, and the pleasure of leading a popular campaign, but so can politicians: the Conservatives in opposition even invented a £50m fund to pay for the drugs that will save your life, in a scheme that is no more realistic than Barbara Moss’s* unrepresentative anecdote. With drugs that cost £21,000 per person, your £50m will buy you precisely 2,381 patients on Avastin living an extra 6 weeks, and then it’s gone forever. http://www.badscience.net/2010/08/in-pr ... anecdotes/
*see http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... ation.html