Just so you know, Britain, the ne plus ultra of single payer care, is having a little bit of death panel trouble:
Liver cancer sufferers are being condemned to an early death by being denied a new drug on the Health Service, campaigners warn.
They criticised draft guidance that will effectively ban the drug sorafenib – which is routinely used in every other country where it is licensed.
Trials show the drug, which costs £36,000 a year, can increase survival by around six months for patients who have run out of options.
The Government’s rationing body, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) said the overall cost was ‘simply too high’ to justify the ‘benefit to patients’.
However, relatively few would be eligible for the treatment – around 700, or one in four of those diagnosed each year with primary liver cancer.
Kate Spall, founder of the Pamela Northcott Fund, which assists cancer patients denied new therapies, last night said cancer sufferers had been sold down the river.
She said: ‘These policies were specifically designed to help patients with rarer cancer such as liver to access new treatments for a previously untreatable disease.
‘This decision will condemn patients to an earlier death than was necessary.’
Only 20 per cent of patients with primary liver cancer – where the tumour originates in the liver – are alive one year after diagnosis.