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Stricter requirements make it harder to get cancer drugs in the Netherlands

Dutch oncologists will be more rigorous in evaluating new cancer drugs before prescribing them to patients, according to new guidelines from the Dutch Commission of Oncologists and Respirologists. For terminally ill patients with a life expectancy of more than a year, drugs should extend lifespan by at least four months instead of the current three months. Patient groups are outraged. Volkskrant report.

According to recent scientific studies, many new and often very expensive drugs Anti-cancer drugs that have hit the market in recent years only add an average of two to three months to the lives of cancer patients. Many of these drugs also have serious side effects.

Oncologists actually realized the same thing, and after much discussion, the Expert Group of Oncologists (NVMO) and Respiratory Physicians Who Treat Cancer Patients (NVALT) voted for stricter standards. .

Tighter requirements make it more likely that oncologists will not prescribe new drugs. For drugs that prevent cancer from coming back after treatment, drug companies need to prove that the drug actually prolongs the patient’s life. For terminally ill patients, if the patient has at least a year to live, the drug should extend the patient’s lifespan by at least 16 weeks instead of the current 12 weeks.

The Dutch Federation of Cancer Patients’ Associations (NFK) is outraged. “Dutch practitioners leave their patients in the cold,” said NKF’s Pauline Evers. According to the federation, the adjusted standards mean Dutch patients will not have access to up to a quarter of drugs approved by the EMA. “It is an alarming and unacceptably high rate.

According to NFK, patients should be able to decide, in consultation with their doctor, whether the drug will add value for them. It cannot be judged by “obvious numbers” at the population level. NFK says a few extra months can sometimes mean everything for patients. And there should be no selection criteria at the Gate.

The pharmaceutical interest group VIG is also less enthusiastic about the new standard. Dutch patients do not have the same treatment options as patients in other regions, VIG said. “This puts Dutch patients even further behind European patients with the same type of cancer. It is inexplicable.”

https://nltimes.nl/2023/05/18/stricter-requirements-make-cancer-meds-harder-get-netherlands Stricter requirements make it harder to get cancer drugs in the Netherlands

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