UK government moves to tackle lottery of cancer drugs

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 17 June 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1453
  1. Katherine Burke
  1. London

    Electronic prescribing is to be launched two years earlier than planned in an effort to put an end to “postcode prescribing” of newer chemotherapy drugs.

    Launching a report into variations in prescribing earlier this week, health minister Lord Warner described as “unacceptable” and “unfair” the differences in the way England's 34 cancer networks use new chemotherapy drugs.

    Lord Warner promised to implement all the report's recommendations, including bringing forward electronic prescribing to 2006, rather than the current launch date of 2008-10. Electronic prescribing would enable cancer networks to give doctors feedback when they prescribe chemotherapy differently from the norm. Such feedback has been shown to reduce variation.

    He added that the results of the report would be sent to all strategic health …

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