The Traps Of Universal Healthcare

Mar 6, 2008 Full story:

The New York Times writes about a cancer patient in the British Health Care System : Debbie Hirst'sbreast cancer had metastasized, and the health service would not provide her with Avastin...

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Since: Dec 05

Union, NJ

#1 Mar 6, 2008
The anecdote from the United Kingdom has nothing to do with any traps of universal healthcare.

According to NCIís official cancer information website on "state of the art" chemotherapy for breast cancer, it is unclear whether single-agent chemotherapy or combination chemotherapy is preferable for first-line treatment. No data support the superiority of any particular regimen.

Avastin is not the only drug that can be used to treat breast cancer. The idea that approving drugs based on "population studies" has its limits. What may or may not work for the average population may not apply to the "individual."

What should be at issue is not on the types of expensive drugs that are being developed and if universal healthcare will pay for them, but on the understanding of all the drugs we already have (many of them cheap). The system is overloaded with drugs and underloaded with the wisdom and expertise for using them.

A major obstacle in controlling cancer drug prices is the widespread inappropriate use of anti-cancer drugs. As the increasing numbers and types of anti-cancer drugs are developed, oncologists become more and more likely to misuse them in their practice.

Knowing the drug sensitivity profile of a specific cancer patient can allow the treating oncologist to prescribe a therapy that will be the most effective against the tumor cells, before placing these expensive and potentially toxic agents into the patient.

Pharmaceutical companies focus their research on diseases with a broad base, and prefer developing drugs that customers can be counted on to take for many years. However, they have come to recognize that cancer drugs can be profitable, if the price is high enough and the disease is serious enough to treat. They have discovered that many patients will tolerate high prices, and demand payment, if their lives depended on them.

Too many drugs shrink tumors but don't bring about any survivability. And too many drugs makes it difficult for oncologists to sort out which drugs are most effective alone or in combination, and in what sequence. The result is millions of dollars is spent producing tumor-shrinking drugs that often offer no improved survival, no better quality of life, and no added safety to patients.


#2 Sep 23, 2013
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#3 Sep 23, 2013
I have ordered 2 times from this website PILLSMEDSHOP. COM . I called yesterday the customer care and asked for a discount as i was about to order twice the regular amount.

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