In Victim of a broken promise: Mother, 37, forced to sell her home to buy cancer drugs Labour pledged to fund, Daniel Martin and Christian Gysin told the story of Nikki Phelps, whose local PCT wouldn't fund a drug, Sutent, to treat her 'rare glandular cancer'.
The Mail, which dismisses NICE as a:
goes on to say:
West Kent primary care trust refused - because NICE has not specifically approved the drug for her type of cancer.
Labour ministers promised more than a year ago to give sufferers of rare cancers easier access to life-extending drugs.
But the rationing body NICE has since refused to approve ten such drugs. Experts say the rulings cut short up to 20,000 lives.
They even produce a little table which shows 15 (rather than ten) cancer drugs that they claim NICE have 'refused to approve':
Not so, says NICE. Its Chairman, Professor Sir Michael Rawlins, responded by writing to Mail Editor Paul Dacre, and the health spokesmen of the three main political parties, stating:
I have no knowledge of Mrs Phelp’s circumstances but Sutent, for this indication, has never been referred to us for appraisal and has no Marketing Authorisation for this indication.
So when the Mail said NICE hadn't approved the drug for Mrs Phelps' type of cancer, it's because they hadn't been asked to - which the Mail admits towards the very end of the article.
Rawlins goes on:
The Daily Mail, in the same article, also states that that 'NICE has delivered 15 rejections of cancer treatments in the past 18 months' and provides a list. This list is factually inaccurate.
He goes on to show what NICE has actually said in each of the cases, concluding:
In summary, of the 15 products allegedly rejected by NICE:
* 10 were recommended
* 4 were rejected
* 1 no appraisal has been published.
And the last of those is currently under review.
Eventhough NICE's clarification has been public since 9 April, the Mail's article has not been removed or updated to reflect their denials about the 'refused' drugs.
So will the Mail admit the error and correct the record? Or will they continue to push 'factually inaccurate' information about cancer drugs?
(Hat-tip to mr_wonderful at the Mailwatch Forum)