What the papers say: NICE is lauded for Herceptin ruling

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s decision to approve breast cancer drug Herceptin for use on the NHS was reported glowingly this week: ‘It’s good-news time’ (The Mail on Sunday, 11 June).

Certainly, the news inspired a ‘draught of positive responses’ (monstersandcritics.com, 9 June), not least in applause of the speed of the announcement: ‘It is gratifying to see NICE respond so quickly’ (Professor Sikora, Daily Mail, 9 June).

Many welcomed NICE’s action, particularly given Herceptin’s history of personal campaigns, litigation and exposure of UK healthcare rationing. ‘A year of uncertainty and post-code lottery is at last coming to an end’ (Breakthrough Breast Cancer, 4ni.co.uk, 9 June).

Cautionary tales were never far away, however. Kate Law, of Cancer Research UK, stated: ‘We must remember Herceptin is only suitable in about one in five cases of breast cancer. So it’s essential not to create a climate where Herceptin is seen as a miracle cure’ (politics.co.uk, 9 June).

There were also financial concerns. With the NHS in debt, questions of funding were inevitably raised: ‘Herceptin for all to cost £91m a year’ (The Times, 9 June).

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow.

www.echoresearch.com www.newsnow.co.uk

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