A reader writes:
Sad as it is to see Tony Wilson dying, the article you link to shows the NHS appears to have been right in denying him Sutent.
The story is dated July 11, 2007 and Tony Wilson is quoted as believing "his condition has improved" and "the drug has stopped the cancer in its tracks." Furthermore, his friends had donated enough money to provide him a five-month supply of the drug. Tony Wilson died on August 10, 2007 which means he did not last even a month although he had access to the drug. [Update: Wilson died of a heart attack unrelated to his cancer.]
Every healthcare system, public or private, must choose which care to provide and the cost versus efficacy arguments must be weighed carefully. It is always bad to base public policy on a single anecdote and we certainly should not be denying people Sutent solely because someone taking it died within the month. It is telling, however, that you used this story to bash the NHS for being conservative with other people's money - rather than bash the drug company for refusing to sell its product at a price the customer is willing to pay.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.