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14-04-2019, 21:04   #1
steddyeddy
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Private healthcare patients get exclusive access to cancer drugs

Oncologists will now be only able to prescribe new potentially life saving cancer drugs to private patients. I think this is pretty scummy to be honest. Nobody pays the full cost of medical treatment/research and I think it's really a false ideology to say some people "earn" the right to more healthcare than a poorer person.

"Medical oncologist John Crown said he welcomes the move for VHI customers but is "personally very troubled by it".

He said: "For the first time since I can ever recall, we have a difference in access to cancer drugs between public and private patients. It's completely unfair. It's going to be extraordinarily difficult now."


https://www.rte.ie/news/health/2019/...0-cancer-drug/
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14-04-2019, 21:09   #2
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Your wealth is your health...
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14-04-2019, 21:19   #3
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It must be terrible to be the recipient of inferior drugs knowing full well that they are inferior and that you're getting them for cost reasons.

If they took the nothing-doers out of the HSE there would be no need for this
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14-04-2019, 21:25   #4
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The way I read it is that these drugs were not available to anyone in the country. VHI is giving access to its customers, but the HSE has yet to add them to their cancer treatment list?

Maybe it's a case that the HSE must be pushed to also adopt these drugs, as soon as possible, to avoid discrimination between private and public patients.
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14-04-2019, 21:50   #5
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The article is quite vague and, frankly of very poor quality. I don't read RTÉ so I suppose I am not missing much.

Nothing whatsoever is mentioned about these drugs save for that they are new. That's it. Are they drugs in the traditional sense, ie chemo? Or are they something else?

In the UK, we have the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) which must approve NHS funding for all drugs. It makes decisions based on drug efficacy, safety and value for money as health spending is finite. I don't know what the Irish equivalent is but the fact that the author of this piece never contacted them or mentioned this suggests that this is a clickbait article. We don't know if these new drugs perform any better than generics of if they just add a few months to a patient's life. If they don't perform well then the HSE has a tough call to make as this money can be spent elsewhere where it might reap more benefits.

A shame that RTÉ went for the clickbait article on such an important issue.
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14-04-2019, 21:53   #6
Bitches Be Trypsin
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Clickbait article.

I do believe though that having private health insurance should have some perks besides faster treatment and private rooms. Paying people should get superior treatment imo.
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14-04-2019, 22:01   #7
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The National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics evaluates the cost effectiveness of new medicines, and those that are cost effective are then reimbursed by the state. Based on the data submitted to them, these drugs weren't deemed cost effective for the conditions outlined in the article. This is why they aren't funded by the state for public patients. Covering these medicines would mean taking funding from other areas of the health system where it provides more benefit.

This is a dangerous precedent set by VHI, it's effectively subverting the national process for economic evaluation of medicines. It's effectively going to be a means for pharmaceutical companies to gain extra leverage in getting new medicines reimbursed at higher prices.
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14-04-2019, 22:05   #8
steddyeddy
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Irish Times article on the same issue. The Irish Cancer Society and John Crown, Ireland's top oncologist have weighed in on this being unfair.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.iri...348%3fmode=amp
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14-04-2019, 22:06   #9
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Originally Posted by Bitches Be Trypsin View Post
Clickbait article.

I do believe though that having private health insurance should have some perks besides faster treatment and private rooms. Paying people should get superior treatment imo.
We already have a system where time to access treatment is based on ability to pay rather than medical need, which is scandalous enough. And you genuinely want there to be extra advantages for the wealthy? I'm glad most of our political parties disagree and have a strategy to move away from this two tier system.
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14-04-2019, 22:12   #10
paddy19
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The real question, as highlighted by professor Crown, is what the hell VHI are at.

The VHI have no expertise in evaluating cancer drugs.

The drug companies use vulnerable cancer patients to try to blackmail higher prices from the taxpayer.

They are helped by the media who think we should base drug approval based on patients experience rather than scientific data.
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14-04-2019, 22:34   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ancapailldorcha View Post
The article is quite vague and, frankly of very poor quality. I don't read RTÉ so I suppose I am not missing much.

Nothing whatsoever is mentioned about these drugs save for that they are new. That's it. Are they drugs in the traditional sense, ie chemo? Or are they something else?

In the UK, we have the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) which must approve NHS funding for all drugs. It makes decisions based on drug efficacy, safety and value for money as health spending is finite. I don't know what the Irish equivalent is but the fact that the author of this piece never contacted them or mentioned this suggests that this is a clickbait article. We don't know if these new drugs perform any better than generics of if they just add a few months to a patient's life. If they don't perform well then the HSE has a tough call to make as this money can be spent elsewhere where it might reap more benefits.

A shame that RTÉ went for the clickbait article on such an important issue.
Damn near all news media has descended to click bait now.
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14-04-2019, 22:38   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurtosis View Post
We already have a system where time to access treatment is based on ability to pay rather than medical need, which is scandalous enough. And you genuinely want there to be extra advantages for the wealthy? I'm glad most of our political parties disagree and have a strategy to move away from this two tier system.
HOpefully that remains the case K, unfortunately the "money", that is the insurance industry and those who benefit from it would only love to have everywhere set up like the US medical service, based on insurance and wealth. And they'll push hard for it. Look at pet insurance over the last twenty years since it snuck in. Vet bills have gone way up within the insurance framework and if you go off the books it goes pretty crazy to keep you on the books and compliant. Oh and vets aren't seeing much benefit back from it contrary to popular belief. The insurance industry hates public health and will lobby hard against it.
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14-04-2019, 22:40   #13
MIKEKC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurtosis View Post
We already have a system where time to access treatment is based on ability to pay rather than medical need, which is scandalous enough. And you genuinely want there to be extra advantages for the wealthy? I'm glad most of our political parties disagree and have a strategy to move away from this two tier system.
Just because you have private health insurance doesn't mean you are wealthy. For many it's a choice, some feel they shouldn't need it after paying PRSI . Others chose to spend their money in different ways
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14-04-2019, 22:42   #14
bluewolf
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what do we know about the drugs? the IT suggests they may not work
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/heal...fair-1.3860348
i wonder if this is a price gouging exercise for vhi rather than an actual useful drug not being funded by the hse. if it is the latter, they should be told to get on it asap
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14-04-2019, 22:44   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paddy19 View Post
The real question, as highlighted by professor Crown, is what the hell VHI are at.

The VHI have no expertise in evaluating cancer drugs.

The drug companies use vulnerable cancer patients to try to blackmail higher prices from the taxpayer.

They are helped by the media
who think we should base drug approval based on patients experience rather than scientific data.
This poster gets what's going on precisely. Trace this story back and you'll find it's from one of the associated pharma companies attempting to use the media to put pressure on the Irish state to pay a higher price for their "essential" drug. The day journalists in our "free press" stop being self-serving, sycophantic bag boys for the agendas of the powerful will never happen.
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