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Patients with cancer could spend less time in hospital, says tsar

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39223.489919.DB (Published 24 May 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:1079
  1. Lisa Hitchen
  1. London

    Reducing the length of time that patients with cancer spend in hospital would free finance for expensive cancer drugs, says the national director for cancer services in England.

    Mike Richards, England's cancer tsar, made the suggestion at the opening session of the second parliamentary inquiry into the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) since the institute was set up in 1999.

    NICE has been criticised recently by patients and drug companies, the House of Commons health select committee reported. NICE's refusal to provide the data that led to its decision to refuse to recommend certain drugs for Alzheimer's disease has even prompted a judicial review, which will take place next month.

    Professor Richards said that advances in drug technology offered a “very exciting time” for the treatment of cancer, and more than half of the new drugs currently being developed are …

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