Sunday, 20 December 2009

Drug apartheid hits victims of leukaemia in England (daily Mail Online)

Leukaemia sufferers in England will be denied potentially life-saving drugs freely available in Scotland.

The proposal to ban English patients from getting the medication on the NHS has been branded 'stupid and heartless'.
Doctors and campaigners say the Government rationing body's measures will worsen the postcode lottery, with patients north of the border able to get dasatinib and nilotinib that could add years to their lives.

The preliminary guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence affects patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia.

Although the drugs cost £30,000 a year, only a maximum of 300 patients a year are likely to need them.

They have failed to respond to treatment with another drug, called Glivec, or become resistant to it.

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