Britain blocks cancer drugs to cut costs

Britain blocks cancer drugs to cut costs
# 25 February 2012 23:32 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. The British government has been accused of "systematically" postponing the introduction of new cancer treatments in order to cut the costs, head of UK’s biggest drugs company warned, APA reports quoting Press TV.

Sir Andrew Witty, the chief executive of GlaxoSmithKIine, stressed that the coalition government has adopted false economic policies to tackle the country’s financial crises.

Condemning the government for delaying to approve the innovative drugs, Witty said, "Cancer in the UK is a good example where we’re seeing oncology drugs being systematically delayed from introduction and reimbursement.

The government treated the pharmaceuticals industry as a simple “procurement business" without considering the profound impacts of its plans, Witty said. "As governments have got more and more anxious about their debt positions and austerity agendas, what happened is quite predictable.

"If you are a minister and you need to cut costs, it is a lot easier to cut drug prices than it is to close a hospital or reduce the size of the Civil Service.”

Professor Jonathan Waxman, of Imperial College London who funded cancer charity to improve cancer treatment, considered the situation as being like a “disaster.”

He declared that many new drugs had been blocked by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), that is responsible to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of new treatments.

“Nice has over-regulated and proscribed drugs that offer real advances to people with cancer,” Waxman said. Adding for prostate cancer, there are two new innovative drugs that offer real benefits for the patients, but they have been “disallowed - banned - by Nice on the basis of an assessment which is not a true financial costing of the worth of the drugs."

Moreover, Waxman warned that drug companies would no more seek endorsement for their products in the UK. Accordingly there would be a disastrous situation in Britain, where there would be no drugs available for the patients.