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NHS U-turn sees breast cancer drug Kadcyla approved for use



Kadcyla, a new drug which could extend the lives of women with advanced breast cancer, has been approved for routine use on the NHS.

Women with aggressive breast cancer will be granted the use of a life-extending drug called Kadcyla after a ‘monumental’ U-turn by NHS rationing bodies.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) had previously said the drug “does not work well enough to justify its high cost” of £90,000 per patient  – despite, in clinical trials, it has given women with advanced breast cancer up to nine months’ extra life.

The u-turn has been hailed by charities as a “monumental” decision by rationing bodies.

A new deal between NHS England and the pharmaceutical company Roche will make the drug initially available to about 1,200 women per year in England after it was approved for use on the NHS in Scotland earlier this year.

Kadcyla is administered intravenously (IV) once every three weeks. Clinical trials also demonstrated an increase in quality of life for patients compared with other treatments.

Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, said: “NHS cancer survival rates are now at record highs, and this year we’re going to be making major upgrades to modern radiotherapy treatments in every part of England. 

“NHS England is also taking practical action to drive greater value from taxpayers’ growing investment in modern drug treatments, and that work is beginning to bear fruit.

“Today’s announcement on Kadcyla shows that for companies who are willing to work with us, there are concrete gains for them, for the NHS and most importantly for patients able to get new and innovative drugs. In this case, tough negotiation and flexibility between the NHS and Roche means both patients and taxpayers are getting a good deal.”

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NMC says Nurses must accept concerns about their practice



Legislative changes designed to speed up fitness-to-practice (FtP) cases will only work if Nurses accept concerns about their practice.

Controversial changes including a new measure that will allow the Nursing and Midwifery Council to issue ‘public warnings’ against registrants who have breached professional standards came into force this week, be able to offer informal advise to Nurses for less severe cases and agree restrictions on practice with registrants directly.

The reforms will enable case examiners to resolve issues earlier on in the FtP process and will mean the NMC will only have to take the most serious cases to a full hearing but the NMC boss says this can only happen in Nurses accept concerns about their practice earlier in the process.

This years financial report shows noted a significantly higher spending on fitness to practices cases and part of the new process is to minimise this spending.

Several concerns have been raised that the new system may result in over-use of warnings and the fact they may disadvantage staff when applying for employment.

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NMC Chief gets £20,000 pay rise to bring pay into “alignment”




Jackie Smith, the chief executive and registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council received a £20,000 pay rise this year.

The Nursing and Midwifery Councils financial reports reveal that its CEO and Registrar, Jackie Smith, received a pay rise of around £20,000 bringing her total basic salary to £192,850 for 2016-2017.

However, Ms Smith final remuneration is expected to be significantly more due to pension benefits and annual leave reimbursements.

In a report from the NMC, the regulator said the pay increase for its chief executive followed a review of its senior salary structure.

The report, which is created by the NMC’s remuneration committee, compares the pay of its own executives with those in similar roles.

In total, the NMC’s executive team was paid £1.2m in 2016-2017.

The report went on to state that the NMC has maintained financial stability and noted a significantly higher spending on fitness to practices cases.

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