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Current UK cancer care ‘not tenable’

The Lancet Oncology Commission, an international group of doctors and medical professionals, says the developed world sometimes over-uses expensive drugs when treating cancer. In a report on the BBC Radio 4's Today programme commission chairman Professor Richard Sullivan said the UK may be spending more than it needs on cancer treatment "of limited benefit". The commission, set up to assess cancer treatment and its price, says the benefits in extending life sometimes bear little relation to the cost. The UK spends about £6bn a year on cancer treatment.

One of the commission’s members, the oncologist Karol Sikora, said: “The real problem is the sheer onslaught of drugs. Over the last six months, eight new drugs have come to market: average price, £9,000 a month. This is not a tenable way to move forward.”

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