Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA
UK medical group rejects new skin cancer treatment
APBy MARIA CHENG - AP Medical Writer | AP
LONDON (AP) — An independent British medical watchdog says the first treatment proven to help people with the deadliest form of skin cancer is too expensive to be used by the U.K.'s health care system, a recommendation critics called a potential death sentence.
The drug, Bristol-Myers Squibb's Yervoy, has offered some hope to people with advanced skin cancers, though a study of patients with advanced, inoperable melanoma showed it extended survival only four months on average.
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence, or NICE, advised Friday that at a cost of 80,000 pounds ($126,600) Yervoy "could not be considered a cost-effective use" of health funds. A final decision is expected next month after a public consultation.
In the U.K., most medicines are paid for by the government, as long as they're recommended by the cost-efficiency watchdog. The agency commonly rejects expensive drugs, including recently advising against new treatments for prostate cancer, breast cancer, and multiple sclerosis, though patients and doctors are increasingly protesting the decisions.
I had no idea the Tea Party was in the U.K., too. That does seem a little strange, doesn't it? Just sayin'...