Now that we have Obamacare as the law of the land it is appropriate to look at what has happened in England where government controled health care has been in force for decades.
Despite growing the bureaucracy that runs it the numbers of doctors and nurses has decreased over the years. This has resulted in waiting times for appointments to see physicians and dentists, and even longer waiting periods for surgical procedures–even years for some surgeries.
But now a problem has been revealed with the medicines available to cancer patients from the National Health Service.
Many cancer medicines which are widely available in Europe, such as the bowel cancer drug, Bevacizumab, and the kidney cancer drug, Sorafenib, are not available in the United Kingdom.
France gives out on average 1,600 mg of Bevacizumab per bowel cancer case, compared to virtually none in the UK.
Some of the more expensive drugs which have been approved by NICE are used less than in other countries, the figures show.
Patients are 20 per cent more likely to be given the breast cancer drug Herceptin on average in Europe than in the UK; 50 per cent more likely if they live in France or Spain.
Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, said: “It is unforgivable that thousands of cancer sufferers in England die each year because they are not given the drugs that they need when we spend over a hundred billion pounds a year on the NHS.
“Gordon Brown has doubled the amount we spend on the NHS but we have not got a good return for our money – so much of it has been spent on waste and bureaucracy.
“There is no reason why we should not be able to get cancer drugs in England that are readily available in the rest of Europe.”
Figures released by NICE show that 15 cancer drugs have been assessed since Mr Johnson’s promise of November 2008, of which four have been turned down and 11 only partially approved.
They include Hycamtin (topotecan), for lung and cervical cancer, Mabthera (rituximab) for chronic lymphocytes leukaemia and Sutent (sunitinib) for stomach tumours.
Sir Andrew Dillon, chief executive of Nice, insisted however that partial recommendations were the best way to deal with new drugs, because it allowed them to be limited to certain patients who would most benefit from their use. Note this is a bureaucrat not a doctor deciding who gets the potential life saving drugs!!!
He added: “We recommend the use of most (85 per cent) of the new drugs we look at.( I guess he lets the other 255 DIE BECAUSE HE THINKS THEY WOULD BE A WASTE OF MONEY!!)
“Not all patients with a particular condition benefit from a drug and some drugs only work really well for some patients or at a particular stage in a disease.
“It is wrong to recommend the use of treatments where the additional benefit is uncertain.( THIS IS A NON-DOCTOR TALKING!!)