NHS England invests £160M on new ‘COVID-friendly’ cancer drugs

Author : Saipriya Iyer | Published Date : 2020-08-04 

NHS England is reportedly investing £160 million on new ‘COVID-friendly’ cancer drugs that are less likely to impact the patients’ immune system. The drugs can also be prescribed for patients at home to reduce their instances of visiting the hospitals, which will allow them to be less susceptible to coronavirus as well as other infections.

The non-departmental public body has stated that 2,000 patients had been benefitted from various treatments approved for use as ‘swaps’ for the existing drugs. Following the deals between the NHS and pharma companies, more drugs are expected to be available soon.

Targeted hormone therapies are among the currently available treatment options. These include enzalutamide for treating prostate cancer and a wider usage of lenalidomide for treating bone marrow cancer, myeloma. The bowel cancer patients with a specific genetic marker in their tumor will be treated with nivolumab, the immunotherapy drug.

According to NHS’s chief executive, Simon Stevens, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the NHS staff to fast-track new and innovative ways of efficiently catering to other medical services such as cancer, A&E, and maternity.

King’s College London’s director of the Institute of Cancer Policy, Prof. Richard Sullivan, has cited that an effective treatment of the cancer patients also requires proper individual risk assessment, rapid COVID-19 testing, and biosafety protocols. He further added that they are currently unaware of the possible impact on survival as a result of the recent changes.

As per the statement made by the chief executive of Cancer Research UK, Michelle Mitchell, the recent announcement will lead to the development of effective treatment for some patients who have been kept on hold due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Moreover, in the recent past, successful price negotiations between the drug manufacturers and NHS have considerably enhanced the patients’ access to advanced cancer treatments.

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Saipriya Iyer

Saipriya Iyer

Saipriya Iyer presently works as a content developer for fractovia.org. Having dabbled with the domain of content creation for nearly half a decade, she now boasts of an enviable portfolio, holding substantial experience in penning down pieces related to technology, finance, and a wide spectrum of other industry verticals. A qualified computer engineering graduate from the University of Pune, Saipriya can often be found leveraging her knowledge of software technology and electronics in her write-ups. She can be contacted at- [email protected] | https://twitter.com/saipriya_i

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