Britain ‘spends twenty times as much on junk food as on cancer drugs’

Err, what?

We spend more on booze than we do tutus for dachshunds too. And?

Britain is spending twenty times as much on junk food as on cancer drugs, experts have said, amid calls for reform of NHS rationing to stop the sick being forced to “beg” for treatment.

A report by University College London calls for the introduction of a “more humane” approach to drug funding, warning that spending in the UK is lagging badly behind that of other countries.

Researchers said “Kafkaesque” systems of NHS rationing meant too many sick patients were forced to face long battles to secure treatment which could prolong their lives.

Junk food is my money being spent upon me. Cancer drugs are, with the NHS, my money being spent by bureaucrats on other people.

As St. Milt pointed out, these are rather different cases.

Britain spends less than 1 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)on pharmaceuticals, around half that of other major industrial nations, the report says, with just 0.1 per cent of GDP devoted to anti-cancer drugs. Meanwhile, up to 2 per cent of the UK’s GDP is spent on junk food, Prof Taylor said.

Who gets to be the Fat Controller who determines how much of GDP, how much of everything, gets spent upon what?

31 thoughts on “Britain ‘spends twenty times as much on junk food as on cancer drugs’”

  1. Isn’t this only a problem if spending is on junk food instead of cancer drugs and cancer drugs had a greater benefit to society. NHS does some odd stuff but other than what they serve in hospitals it’s not dishing out junk food to all sundry last I heard

  2. So they’re basically saying that government should eliminate all personal spending, assign you your ration book after confiscating all your wealth and income, then assign a greater percentage of that money to the NHS.

    That way we won’t make the ‘wrong’ decisions in our personal lives.

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    The underlying assumption seems to be that if we don’t spend on junk food we won’t spend on anything, but we still have to eat. So at best it would be the difference between the cost of junk food and healthy substitue, which could even be negative.

    I suppose there is the extra cost to the NHS because al junk food causes instant cancer, but still I can’t see it being tye vast sums campaigners and health fascists, but I repeat myself, imply.

  4. So at best it would be the difference between the cost of junk food and healthy substitue, which could even be negative.

    Wait until you see what falls under the category of “junk food”. I bet they include supermarket ready-meals and things like pizza.

  5. Except with the NHS, it’s actually, rather a lot of it at least, the insurance premiums you’ve been paying in getting spent on you.

    BTW, cancer outcomes in the UK are regularly counted among the worst in Europe.

  6. BTW, cancer outcomes in the UK are regularly counted among the worst in Europe.

    Is there any health outcome where the NHS ranks even average?

  7. Biggie–which is why your lovely EU pals were busy painting a target on the NHS. Remember their report Tim featured on here about “68000 die in UK who wouldn’t have died on the continent etc”.

    While I am no NHS fan I an still less an EU fan. Clearly their future meddling would not always have been confined to things that leftists don’t approve of. The arrogant meddling cunts won’t get the chance now.

    How ironic that Brexit will save the NHS–for a while anyway.

  8. So Much For Subtlety

    Bloke in Germany – “BTW, cancer outcomes in the UK are regularly counted among the worst in Europe.”

    On the other hand the kebabs are good. So because the NHS is failing, we should give them more money? I am not sure of the logic of this.

  9. Again we see the public sector and lefty attitude of “more money = good”.

    They seem to think cost is automatically a proxy for effectiveness. It isn’t.

    Like when each government defends its record on the NHS by talking about how much more they’ve spent on it compared with the last guy. All they are doing is advertising how much more expensive it is now, which in anything other than the public sector is a bad thing.

    Bob pays £200K for his house, while his neighbour Phil pays £300K. Somehow, by their logic, Phil is the smart one.

  10. >Is there any health outcome where the NHS ranks even average?

    The management types have pretty healthy bank balances. Does that answer the question?

  11. So Much For Subtlety

    Apparently the NHS’s email system is down because someone sent a test message to everyone in the system – and idiots keep hitting “reply all” to ask who was responsible for all this spam.

    They are also trying to keep their plans to close hospitals across the country secret.

    Which means it will come as no surprise that dementia has just overtaken heart disease as the biggest killer in the UK:

    http://www.ibtimes.com/dementia-overtakes-heart-disease-leading-cause-death-2446035

    I think all of these are excellent reasons to spend more on junk food. How do you want to die? Mindless in a pool of your own dribble or from your heart giving out while doing the horizontal tango with a dusky Latin beauty?

  12. “just 0.1 per cent of GDP devoted to anti-cancer drugs”

    Are we really spending one pound in every thousand on anti-cancer drugs? That is a huge proportion of national income to devote to one problem out of many.

  13. The research appears to concern NHS spending. In which case, it’s not the amount “Britain” spends on drugs at all. If they’re going to compare it to private purchases of burgers by individuals, they should include private purchases of packs of aspirin by individuals.

    That aside, this idea that “Britain” spends a given amount on junk food — or vegetables, or computers, or clothing — every year is ludicrous. The amount of money is of no import beyond being the answer to a question in a pub quiz. No-one writes that cheque. That sum of money can’t be diverted and used for something else, because it never is a sum; it’s just lots of individual payments that have nothing whatsoever to do with each other. Whenever anyone uses the “Britain spends this much on something” argument, I object right there. Accepting that premise is what leads to central planning.

    That being said, I completely agree with Prof Taylor about NICE. Does he realise he’s chanelling Sarah Palin, though? She took all the complaints he’s making and summed them up in two words. I bet he objected at the time.

  14. Cynic,

    > Like when each government defends its record on the NHS by talking about how much more they’ve spent on it compared with the last guy. All they are doing is advertising how much more expensive it is now, which in anything other than the public sector is a bad thing.

    I’m finding lately that that argument can carry a bit of weight with lefties. I point out that no-one at Apple ever says “Our costs went down this year, which means the company is failing” or “Our costs have all increased, which shows how well we’re doing.”

  15. They spend a lot more in medicine in France.

    To the point that you have “pharmacies” all over the place, they’re always very modern and it is a good job to have.

    The other side is that French people have the highest prescription rates in the world.

    Are they healthier? Do they spend less on junk food?

  16. S2,

    Glad it ain’t just me!

    I had started to feel a bit like Mugatu with the crazy pills, as in “am I the only person that sees this?”

    Had a similar conversation with an NHS-er about their drug costs, complaining about them going up every year. I pointed out that drug patents run out, making them cheaper. Blank look in response. Same person also believed that QE went to the banks, mind you; even after I’d recited Timmy’s explanation from El Reg.

  17. ‘Who gets to be the Fat Controller who determines how much of GDP, how much of everything, gets spent upon what? ‘

    Candidly, there is only one answer to that…

  18. “The other side is that French people have the highest prescription rates in the world.”

    They also take more prescriptions in the form of anal pessaries than any other country in the world.

    And, incidentally, they have the lowest per capita consumption of soap/shower gel in the EU.

    That’s all that needs to be said or known about France: it explains so much about that unpleasant country.

  19. > They also take more prescriptions in the form of anal pessaries than any other country in the world.

    Now I’m wondering how difficult it must be to use a search engine to find that out and only that.

  20. Luckily the US has the solution for this. Pay the pharmaceutical companies what they want for the drugs while eliminating any chance for competition and job done.

  21. ‘They also take more prescriptions in the form of anal pessaries than any other country in the world.’

    I don’t like your innuendo*.

    *Innuendo: noun; Italian for suppository.

  22. So Much For Subtlety

    Theophrastus – “They also take more prescriptions in the form of anal pessaries than any other country in the world. …. That’s all that needs to be said or known about France: it explains so much about that unpleasant country.”

    I have to agree I am afraid. I mean, at first you think that because this is France, this is an excuse for some sexy dress up – and while it is not quite my cup of tea, if Emmanuelle Béart sashayed into my bedroom dressed as a nurse with an anal pessary I would at least think about it.

    But then when you think about it, at least some of this medicine must be for children. If French mothers have a taste for this sort of thing, it not only explains a lot (not so much Ms Béart as Kathy Bates) but it is also amazing the French are not screwed up a lot more than they are.

  23. it is also amazing the French are not screwed up a lot more than they are.

    It might explain why they are so apathetic about being micromanaged by big government, if they are so used to bending over and taking it up the arse anyway.

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