Lung cancer is a terrifying disease that affects millions of people across the world. When scientists find new and effective treatment for lung cancer it should be given to sufferers as quickly as possible. Not so in Scotland where patients are denied access to a drug called Gefitinib (also known as Iressa) that will increase their life expectancy as lung cancer sufferers, as it is deemed too costly by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC).
The survival rate for those individuals with lung cancer is very poor when compared with colon-, breast- and prostate cancers. If a drug is developed that can increase patients’ life expectancy, it should be administered. While other countries have had to cut back on health economics jobs thereby reducing the rate at which scientists can make discoveries, Scotland’s researchers have found a drug that, while it does not cure the cancer, does prolong patients’ lifespan.
Despite the dismal statistics surrounding lung cancer, the SMC insists that it cannot justify the cost of the drug in relation to its benefits. Fortunately, there are other drugs that have been fairly effective when administered soon after the prognosis of lung cancer. Denosumab is once such drug which is injected once every six months by a GP or nurse, which will save lung cancer patients in the UK, Scotland and elsewhere in the world considerable time and expense. This lung cancer drug is just one more medical discovery by clinical job holders that will not be used as the powers that be deem it to be too expensive.