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Arguing that cancer patients in the United Kingdom are missing out on new treatments, two leading charities are calling for the government to conduct direct price negotiations with drug makers and push for flexible pricing based on patient outcomes.

In making their case, Breast Cancer Now and Prostate Cancer UK funded a report that found cancer patients in some countries of comparable wealth — such as Germany, France, Australia, Canada, and Sweden — generally have quicker access to cancer medicines. As a result, the charities maintain the approach taken in the UK to measure clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness should change.


Specifically, the charities suggest the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, or NICE, in England and Wales, and the Scottish Medicines Consortium should not decide both the clinical value of a drug and its cost effectiveness. The report, which was released on Monday, noted that in other countries, one public entity generally makes clinical recommendations while another negotiates with companies.

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  • As Capote once said sometimes our answered prayers are not the answers we want. One main reason that specialty drugs are so expensive is that they achieve a high cure rate. For example, the drug Cosentyx, for plaque psoriasis retails for a cool $45,000/year, why? Because it has a 75% success rate in achieving 90% clearance. Time to get off the pity pot, if you don’t have the stash blame your socialized medicine system, and you can always amble on down to your Boots The Chemist and pick up a few tubs of coal tar on the cheap.

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