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New Breast Cancer Drugs, Not For All

Patient groups are demanding the government for new and better breast cancer drugs. But the NHS after seeking the guidance of National Institute// for Clinical Excellence rejected two new breast cancer drugs for use in the NHS. This has angered the patient groups who were campaigning for access to every new drug that appears to show an improvement over older, cheaper medicines in clinical trials. The two drugs were docetaxel and paclitaxel.

According to a study in which women were given a drug combination of docetaxel, it was found that 75% of women remained free of cancer compared with 68% on other drugs. The drugs were licensed for use in combination with other standard drugs in women who have a first breast cancer which has spread to the lymph nodes. But the deputy chief executive of Nice Andrea Sutcliffe said that the study did not state clear evidence about the drug. She said that there was too much uncertainty. But the Scottish Medicines Consortium approved the drugs for use on the NHS. This has resulted in widespread unrest and fuelled protests among the breast cancer campaigners.
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