A recent “about turn” by government and politicians on an important issue reveals the lack of clear thinking in their circles. It also leads NHSreality to ask “how much obligation has the state to support unproven treatments?” NHS choices tells patients about the different phases of drug trials. Is it all these phases which the state will help with, or just phase 3/4? Of course we have not had sight of the letter sent to London PCTs, but it is referred to in the Western Daily Press 29th November 2014: NHS England: Funding cut for drug trial patients was incorrect information.
I suspect the original letter makes very good sense, but it is a tacit admission of rationing. Therefore it is politically unacceptable. After all, these are unproven treatments, and the profit from them, if successful in trial, will go to private companies. If successful, as with other new treatments, the state will not fund them until at or near the date when their patent expires. Note: The U-turn described by Hugh Pym only applies to England..
NHS says no to breast cancer drug, HEALTH
Leukaemia clue in breast cancer, HEALTH