Intended for healthcare professionals

News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Patients demanding access to cancer drugs call off hunger strike

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 08 June 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1352
  1. Judy Siegel-Itzkovich
  1. Jerusalem

    The Israeli government last week brought to an end a widely publicised hunger strike by patients with advanced colon cancer by agreeing to finance an expansion of this year's “health basket” of new drugs and medical technologies. But it will use money that was due to be spent on the health basket next year.

    The patients, who had been on hunger strike for 15 days, were demanding the inclusion in the health basket of cetuximab (Erbitux) and bevacizumab (Avastin), two expensive drugs for cancer that prolong life but do not cure the disease.

    The government said it would allow an additional $85m (£45m; €66) expansion of the basket of new medical drugs and technologies that the …

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