Kidney cancer patients 'denied life-saving drugs'

A third of patients with kidney cancer have been denied life-saving drugs despite hospitals being told to prescribe them, experts have said.

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Govt: Patients have right to drugs approved by Nice

The Department of Health said they expect the NHS to provide approved drugs to those who need them after a report by health experts claimed that one third of patients with kidney cancer have been denied life-treating medicine.

Patients have a right to drugs and treatments that have been approved by Nice and we expect the NHS to provide them if they are needed.

That is why the chief executive of the NHS has written to the local NHS requiring them to publish which NHS organisations are funding and using drugs and treatments approved by Nice, and which are not.

– Department of Health spokesman

Third of kidney cancer patients 'denied life-saving drugs'

A third of patients with kidney cancer have been denied life-saving drugs despite hospitals being told to prescribe them which has exposed an "endemic and disastrous postcode lottery" of care within the health service, experts have said.

A report by the Health and Social Care Information Centre looked at the NHS's use of 10 common drugs during 2012 which have been approved by Government advisory watchdog the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice).

One in three people suffering from kidney cancer were not given the life-extending drugs sunitinib or pazopanib, the report found. It also found that one in three motor neurone disease patients did not receive riluzole - the only treatment for the condition.

Chief executive of the Rarer Cancers Foundation Andrew Wilson told The Daily Telegraph that patients were suffering from "an endemic postcode lottery" of care in access to certain medicines.

He said: "It is extremely worrying that the NHS does not seem to be making available cancer treatments to all patients who could benefit, even when the drug is approved by Nice."

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