Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Editor's Choice

What you need to know about cancer drugs

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 05 October 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j4585

Rapid Response:

Re: What you need to know about cancer drugs

This week's BMJ highlighted the marginal if any benefit of so many cancer drugs we dish out. The production line system adopted by the NHS in addition to the pressures you mention also encourages the doling out of chemotherapy without thought. To discuss with patients and their families the option of no chemotherapy takes time; not something we have. I used to give patients the information and review them after a week, giving them time to think things over, but this is not possible in already overbooked clinics and of course that approach might god forbid result in a target breach. No chemotherapy also reduces the hospitals income. So much for good medicine.

Competing interests: No competing interests

06 October 2017
Consultant Clinical Oncologist
Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals
Guy's Hospital, Cancer Centre, London SE1 9RT