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.


Julia Manning


About Julia Manning

Julia Manning is a social pioneer, writer, campaigner and commentator. Formerly a clinical optometrist specialising in diabetes and visual impairment, she is the founder and Director of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal and Social. 2020health has through research, events and campaigning influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. In 2014, 2020health were founding partners of the Health Tech and You Awards with Axa PPP and the Design Museum. Since 2016, 2020health has increasingly focused on digital health and public health in the community. Julia is a Fellow of the RSA and now also a part-time PhD student at the UCL Interaction Centre, studying the use of digital technology for stress management in the workplace. Julia has shared 2020health's research widely in the media (BBC News, ITV, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions & Victoria Derbyshire, BBC Radio 4 Today, PM and Woman's Hour, LBC) and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week.
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