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The Evening Standard reports on yet another egregious failure of Great Britain’s system of socialized medicine.
A mother has been forced to sell her home to pay for private treatment with a cancer “wonder drug” after funding for it was denied. Debbie Mitchell, 39, said she was “left to sit in the corner and die” after her local primary care trust refused to pay for Sutent for her stomach cancer.
How can this be? The advocates of socialized medicine keep telling us that everyone has access to free health care when the government runs things. Was this some oddball “experimental” drug?
The drug, which is widely prescribed throughout Europe and the U.S., has already been licensed for use in Britain. But it has yet to be approved by the Government’s drugs watchdog.
The bottom line here was rationing. The apparatchiks decided that this patient’s health needs were not as important as cost control. They made vague allusions to “clinical effectiveness,” but that was just a bureaucratic CYA strategy:
Cancer specialists treating her said her tumours were still growing and recommended Sutent, which has been shown to shrink tumours dramatically and can prolong life for two years or more.
This patient had the resources (her house) to get the medication on the private market. But how many without the resources have had to “sit in the corner and die”?
Is this what we want for the United States?