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Thursday 21st June 2018

Has the NHS lost its way?

10th June 2010

The Daily Express comment section argues that the health service must prioritise preserving life, not meeting financial targets.


The NHS has forgotten the reason why it exists if it does not consider lengthening the life expectancy of people with terminal cancer to be one of its top priorities.

Giving the drug Lapatinib to cancer patient Nikki Blunden would give her the potential opportunity to live long enough to see her son's first day at school.

However, the health service has refused to provide her with the medication because it is too expensive.

Her wish for another year to live is not an outrageous request for a 37-year-old woman who has held down a job and paid taxes ever since she finished her education.

The Liberal Democrat and Conservative coalition government has said it intends to review how patients are given new medication which can extend their life expectancy.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley has made the promise to "arrive at a point" where the health service offers "groundbreaking new drugs".

However, patients such as Mrs Blunden cannot wait while the government decides what to do - it must act right away.

Billions are wasted on health service excursions, management and less important treatments.

It is clear that spending money on life-extending drugs is more important.


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