Dear God, what are we coming to? Government doing something sensible?
NHS cancer patients to be offered experimental drugs
Cancer patients will get much quicker access to experimental drugs and other treatments still in development, David Cameron will announce today.
The biggest cost in pharmaceutical development is the trials. Phase III trials particularly. phase II trials clearly come before them.
If you wanted to aid the pharma industry then you\’d try and find a way in which organising such trails is easier, cheaper and above all, faster. For the patent clock starts running before these trials are even attempted.
No, really, you get 17 years on the patent and the first 6 to 7 of those years are spent in trying to show everyone that the drug actually does something useful and doesn\’t kill people in the meantime.
So, allowing earlier access to experimental drugs means that those tests can be done earlier/faster and then the few drugs that make it through the process have more patent time, are more profitable and hey, we\’ve just given pharma a boost.
And it\’s by definition a boost that will happen in the UK, for it\’s the NHS that will be offering these new drugs.
There\’s also the interesting side effect that those who get these new drugs that do work will live longer, some of them will even be cured of their ailments.
All very sensible: so the one thing we know about it is that a politician didn\’t think it up. But at least they\’ve picked up the idea, eh?