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Oncologists protest about NICE's decision on cancer drugs

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7351.1413 (Published 15 June 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1413
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. London

    The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), the body that decides which drugs will be available on the NHS in England and Wales, was last week criticised for placing savings before patient welfare in the treatment of advanced colorectal cancer.

    A group of 28 consultant oncologists accused NICE, in a letter to the Daily Telegraph, of “misrepresenting the evidence” of trials into the drugs irinotecan and oxaliplatin. The letter's authors represent nearly half of Britain's estimated 60 colorectal cancer specialists.

    Irinotecan, widely used in Europe and the United States as a first line therapy, will be available in Britain only to patients who have not responded to fluorouracil. Oxaliplatin will be given …

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