Letter to Times on Cancer Drugs

The Tories are erroneously accused of a ‘slight of hand’ by the King’s Fund over their funding of cancer drugs from the £200m saved by the NHS on not having to pay for the NI increase. But as the Fund well know, although this money isn’t a current spend, it had been budgeted for by local Primary Care Trusts as the NI increase was announced over a year ago and had to be factored in. Thus a well functioning PCT will now find that this money can be freed up for use elsewhere.

The more important point that the Tories are making however is that the decision over which drugs are approved by the evaluation body ‘NICE’ should not just be based on the economic value. It should also include the value to patients, carers, family and society. Our reports on ‘Value-based Pricing’ makes this substantial point, calling for the fixed threshold used by NICE (to decide which medicines and devices to approve) to become flexible and represent such factors as unmet clinical need, severity of the disease, patient preference and public health impact.

Yours

Julia Manning

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About Julia Manning

Julia Manning is a social entrepreneur, writer, campaigner and commentator. She is based in London and is the founder and Chief Executive of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal. Through networking, technology, research, relationships and campaigning 2020health has influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. Julia studied visual science at City University and became a member of the College of Optometrists in 1991. Her career has included being a visiting lecturer at City University, a visiting clinician at the Royal Free Hospital, working with south London Primary Care Trusts and as a Director of the UK Institute of Optometry. She specialised in diabetes (University of Warwick Certificate in Diabetic Care) and founded Julia Manning Eyecare in 2004, a home and prison visiting practice for people with mental and physical disabilities using the latest digital technology, which she sold to Healthcall (now part of Specsavers) in 2009. Experiences of working in the NHS, contributing to policy development, raising two children in the inner-city and standing in the General Election in Bristol in 2005 led to Julia forming 2020health at the end of 2006. Julia is a regular guest on TV and radio shows such as BBC News, ITV’s Daybreak/ GMB, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions, BBC Radio, LBC and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week. She is mum to a rugby-mad son, a daughter passionate about Shakespeare, and wife of a comprehensive school assistant head-teacher. She loves gardening, ballet, Zimbabwe, her Westies Skye and Angus, is an honorary research associate at UCL and a Fellow of the RSA.
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