NICE has reversed its decision to reject the prostate cancer drug Zytiga, says the Independent. Zytiga costs almost £3,000 per patient, per month and can extend life by an average of four to 15 months. Professor Alan Ashworth, chief executive of the Institute of Cancer Research, said he was ‘delighted’ by the decision.
But while NICE was praised for this move, it is criticised elsewhere in today’s papers. The Telegraph reveals that patients can wait for ‘up to nine years’ for the licensing body to approve drugs, delaying patients with diseases from Alzheimer’s to cancer from accessing new treatments.
The Guardian reports on the Government’s reforms of the care available to pregnant women. Each new mother will be given a ‘named midwife’ during labour and birth, to help tackle postnatal depression. Extra training will be given to health workers so they can spot early signs.
Andrew Lansley has also promised increased support for women who miscarry or have a stillbirth, and help for parents coping with the death of a baby. According to the Royal College of Midwives, the proposals will require 5,000 more midwives in the NHS.
A call for a ‘fat tax’ on sugary drinks makes the headlines at the Daily Mail. Dr Oliver Mytton and Dr Mike Rayner, from the Department of Public Health at Oxford University, claim a tax of around 20% could help combat the rising levels of obesity in the UK. They estimate that taxing sugary drinks and unhealthy foods could prevent up to 2,700 deaths from heart disease each year.
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