Hospitals in new cancer drugs postcode lottery amid fears some doctors prefer to stick with tried and trusted treatments
Forty-fold variation found between hospitals offering most and least drugs
Charities warn patients are at the mercy of 'unjustifiable postcode lottery'
Big gap may be down to some doctors preferring drugs used for years
Hospitals are denying patients the latest cancer drugs, a report reveals today.
Many are refusing to give patients life-extending new treatments approved by NHS rationing body NICE.
has uncovered a 40-fold variation between hospitals offering the
highest numbers of drugs and those providing the least.
Charities warn that patients are at the
mercy of an ‘unjustifiable postcode lottery’, with their chance
dependent on where they live.
There is also concern that hospitals are
deliberately holding back highly effective treatments because they are
more expensive than ones they already use.
The stark variation may also be
partly due to doctors in some hospitals preferring to give patients
drugs they have used for years, rather than trying new treatments.
by the Rarer Cancers Foundation analysed NHS figures showing how often
hospitals were prescribing new cancer drugs approved by NICE.