Important drug scheme development for people with Myeloma

By Nic Price on 4 June 2007 — 1 min read

Source: BBC NEWS | Health | Cancer-drug refund scheme backed

A watchdog has endorsed a new scheme under which a bone marrow-cancer drug’s manufacturers would refund the NHS if a patient did not respond to treatment.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is recommending multiple myeloma patients in Wales and England should get Velcade on the NHS.



  • A debilitating form of bone marrow cancer
  • It is currently incurable, but treatable
  • A cancer of the plasma cells, found in the bone marrow
  • Incidence increasing faster than any other cancer in Western world – up 30% in 30 years
  • 20,000 myeloma patients in the UK at any one time

Further information about myeloma on the Myeloma UK website.

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  • Not sure what to make of this. My initial rather cynical reaction is this might be a stragegy for drugs companies to circumvent the usual lengthy trial process, effectively using the patients and guinea pigs. If the trial is unsuccesful then they halt production, if it succeeds the public pay the costs normally carried my the industry. I also feel it’s a way of blurring important but difficult issues about how we decide how resources are best used.

  • Sorry..looks like I pressed send twice.

    But I’d just like to add…I am very pleased that this Myeloma patients will be able to get Velcade they desire. I’m only wondering whether this purchasing model (fail or sale) is a good deal…and a good precedent.

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