Cancer specialist: 'Let NHS patients pay for their treatment' - Independent
"A leading cancer specialist has warned that NHS patients risk losing out on an imminent revolution in cancer treatment unless they are allowed to pay towards the cost of their care.
Professor Karol Sikora, an expert in the management of cancer at Imperial College London, said at least six powerful cancer drugs would become available over the next year, costing at least £60,000 a year per patient. The "designer" cancer drugs, similar to Herceptin, are among the first to offer targeted therapy for cancers of the breast, lung, kidney and bowel."
"NHS patients are officially forbidden from buying their drugs privately as this would mix NHS and private care. The Department of Health says patients must choose whether to be treated on the NHS, and accept what the NHS offers, or to go private in which case all of their care, not just the drugs, must be paid for. A Department of Health spokesman said: "You cannot be both a NHS patient and a private patient at the same time. Co-payments would risk creating a two- tier health service and be in direct contravention with the principles and values of the NHS.""
"A survey by the charity Cancerbackup showed two-thirds of respondents intended to vote in the next general election on the basis of health policy and for 76 per cent cancer was the most important health issue."
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