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Private medical cover uptake to rise in Scotland following cancer drug decision?

Published on 14/12/2010
People in Scotland may be tempted to take out private medical cover after a drug to treat lung cancer was rejected for use by public health services.

The Scottish Medicines Consortium has decided not to recommend AstraZeneca UK's Gefitinib to be made available to NHS Scotland patients on the basis that the health benefits it delivers are not enough to justify its cost of around £8,000 per course.

This is despite it being approved by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) for use by the NHS in England.

The drug, also known as Iressa, has been shown to extend the lives of sufferers of non small cell lung cancer by slowing down tumour growth.

Dr Marianne Nicolson, consultant oncologist at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, criticised the Scottish Medicines Consortium's decision.

"Since Gefitinib is already available in England, it is disappointing for patients in Scotland that they do not yet have access to this effective and tolerable medicine," she told the Press and Journal.

"Gefitinib is the therapy of choice for those with the specific genetic changes in their lung cancer that give them a high chance of durable response with fewer side-effects than we see with chemotherapy."

It follows the Nice's recent controversial rejection of bowel cancer drug Avastin.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

Private medical cover uptake to rise in Scotland following cancer drug decision?People in Scotland may be tempted to take out private medical cover after a drug to treat lung cancer was rejected for use by public health     tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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