What is the value of a few precious extra months of life? It's a very difficult question to answer, but if Scottish Medicines Consortium's is to be believed then, it is not worth £2.5 million.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in Scotland, with 2700 cases diagnosed every year. It kills two men every day. There are 19,000 Scottish men currently living with the disease.
Last October, Alex Salmond, the First Minister, signed up to a charter calling for better treatment for patients.
The Scottish Medicines Consortium has denied Scottish men a drug that prolongs life. It said the cost of abiraterone at £3000 a month did not justify the health benefits – even though it can extend lives by more that three months .
In a letter to the Scottish government, sufferer John Thomson writes "It is a disgraceful decision, cruel and unjust, that abiraterone is not available simply because of cost. How do you evaluate the cost of drugs against someone’s life?...This drug not only gives men an extra few months but also some quality to those last few months...It is unfair for some people to access the drug and not others. Money should not be an issue."
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