News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Primary care trust reverses decision not to fund trastuzumab

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 17 November 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:1162
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

    An NHS primary care trust in England last week reversed its decision not to pay for treating a woman with early breast cancer with trastuzumab (Herceptin). It said that after further consideration and intervention by the secretary of state for health it had decided to fund the anticancer drug because of her “exceptional circumstances.”

    North Stoke Primary Care Trust in Staffordshire initially rejected an appeal by 41 year old Elaine Barber to be prescribed trastuzumab, even though her specialist had recommended treatment with the drug. The trust said its decision was based on the fact that its safety and cost effectiveness was currently unconfirmed. It had said, “At this stage the evidence of this [trastuzumab] as a cost effective use of the finite health resources available for North Stoke patients is not confirmed. It would therefore be premature to agree to introduce …

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