NHS Offers New Breast Cancer Drug

    Photo: The Daily Mail

    The Facts

    • England'sNational Health Service (NHS) has reached a deal to provide pembrolizumab to women with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). The drug reportedly reduces the chance of the disease progressing by 40% and will be given to 1.6k patients in England each year.

    • According to the chief executive of NHS England, the drug — approved by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence — is "an innovative, potentially life-saving treatment for one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer."

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    This new treatment is a huge win for the UK's healthcare system. It will help treat thousands of women fighting for their lives and provide an alternative to more invasive procedures. This effort should be commended.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    While this is undoubtedly welcome news, it's overshadowed by the dangerously long wait times that UK's cancer patients face. Time is of the essence when treating cancer; unless this backlog can be properly addressed, the new drug's reach will likely be limited.

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