Thursday, August 7, 2008

Quote of the day

"There's not a woman in this country that can afford to vote for this government after today's decision".

That's the quote of the day from Diane Edwards of the herceptin Heroines campaign.
Once more the government denied extra funding for extra treatment of the Herceptin drug that has worked wonders overseas, but not enough to impress Pharmac.
So Liarbour has enough cash for train sets, or any pet scheme it wishes, but not for a drug that saves women's lives.
So ladies, why do you continue to support the leftist scum more than menfolk do?
Surely after this, the balance of support for Liarbour and National should even up.
National supports herceptin.
So ladies, look which party truly represents your interests.
It certainly ain't Dear Leader's dirty , dirty crew!


Anonymous said...

worked wonders? apparently you have to treat 100 women to make a difference of one life after 2 years - 5 year survival is even worse.

chances are even if herceptin stops your cancer, it kills you from heart disease.

But yeah, the tories will be behind this all the way.

Psycho Milt said...

This is a crap beat-up story if ever there was one. Crapness:

1. Pharmac have just spent a lot of time and effort studying the cost/benefit ratio of funding 12 months as opposed to 9 weeks, and found the benefit simply isn't there. Unilaterally declaring them wrong without evidence isn't satisfactory - if you have some evidence of incorrect conclusions in their study, feel free to present it.

2. The lobbyists hassling Pharmac over this are reported as saying 33 other countries fund the 12 month course, proving the clinical evidence is there. That's simply a non-sequitur - there's nothing to say those 33 countries studied the cost/benefits the way Pharmac has. If the lobbyists (or National, if they "support herceptin") have actual clinical evidence, rather than just a declaration that other countries throw money at the problem, let them present it.

3. How exactly is this a case for not voting for the current govt? Do we have evidence to suggest alternative govts would for some reason not require Pharmac to assess the costs and benefits of different treatments before subsidising them? If there is a political party promoting that as a policy, they sure aren't getting my vote. Why would they get yours?

The Silent Majority said...

Yes, and the meningoccal vaccine had a great cost benefit PM, 1 life was saved at a cost of around $2million, I believe...and now the vaccines have all worn off!

ZenTiger said...

I'm afraid I side with Pharmac and PM on this one FFM.

The money they don't spend on extra Herceptin can go towards other needy areas. It's not as if they have an unlimited budget.

I think Pharmac were quite brave to make this decision, as they'll probably get a fair amount of political pressure for making the current "labour-led" government look bad.

I also pick up on Silent Majorities point in my post: Perception on Herceptin

ZenTiger said...

Sorry, bad grammar, should have used the possessive ..Silent Majority's point...

MacDoctor said...

I have posted on this in more detail on my blog. The evidence for the effectiveness of the nine week course is based on a single weak trail (very small numbers). All the major trails show that the one year course is effective but we are only guessing about the nine week one. Pharmac should therefore fund the year long course until it has proper medical evidence that the nine-week course is as effective.

Anonymous: the real figure is about 3.5 lives per 100 women. And the five year survival is still significantly better with Herceptin. Heart disease is only a significant problem when Herceptin is combined with certain chemotherapeutics (anti-cancer drugs).

Ed Snack said...

Macdoctor, that is not correct. There is significant evidence pointing to an insignificant difference between the 9 week and 52 week treatments. The people who are really promoting the 52 week course are Roche (who stands to make a bundle), and various political groups.

However, like many other essentially scientific issues that get politicized (think climate change), the science tends to get buried under the advocacy. I recommend that people look at this one carefully themselves and avoid knee-jerk responses.

In that, I have to say in this case I'm with Zen and (quelle horreur) Psycho milt. Not every stick to beat this current rotten government with is actually worth using.

Anonymous said...

"So ladies, look which party truly represents your interests."

You can't see anything wrong with that statement can you?

And people wonder National struggle to get the female vote