The next victim of NHS cuts? Cancer patients [VIDEO]

Support us and go ad-free

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is being slammed today for its decision to slash NHS funding for a breakthrough drug that prolongs the lives of pancreatic cancer patients by up to two years.

The breakthrough drug Abraxane® is no longer available in England, despite improving the average life expectancy of a patient by up to 50%, lessening the symptoms of pancreatic cancer, and being used as the standard treatment of care for advanced disease in Scotland and most of the Western world.

In a spectacularly cruel move, patients that try to take the drug privately will also have NHS funding for the rest of their cancer treatment – including costly chemotherapy – snatched away from them when they need it most.

This deals a massive personal and financial blow to approximately 7,700 English people who are diagnosed with the disease every year, as well as their families. The average life expectancy of a person with pancreatic cancer is a mere four to six months. As Pancreatic Cancer Action’s campaign slogan says:

‘[There’s] one NHS waiting time that’s not going up…the time it will take a pancreatic cancer patient to die’

The charity has also launched a hard-hitting video, featuring a fictional press conference hosted by an organisation called ‘Cancer Treatment England’. The aim of the video is to drive home what Pancreatic Cancer Action believes is the message that NICE is sending to patients by making this decision:

Demonstrations have taken place outside the Department of Health offices; campaigners from the charity and the public were joined by Nic Dakin MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on pancreatic cancer.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 12.57.35

Ali Stunt, chief executive at Pancreatic Cancer Action and rare survivor of the disease, said:

“ It is so important that pancreatic cancer patients have access to the very latest treatments, especially those which can offer patients and families valuable extra time….To remove access to patients in England, where the majority of pancreatic cancer patients reside, is cruel and unfair.”

Due to its poor prognosis and lack of improvement in survival this form of cancer needs to be assessed differently to other cancers by review bodies, working with experts to improving earlier diagnosis and better treatments, rather than turning their backs on the issue and saddling sufferers and their families with the costs of private treatment. Funding is sorely needed for research into the condition – it currently receives just over one per cent of all cancer research funding, despite being the 5th biggest cancer killer in the UK.

If you also believe that pancreatic cancer patients deserve the potential for a longer life, you can sign the government petition set up by the charity here.

Featured image via Richard Puller, demonstration mage via Pancreatic Cancer Action

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed