UK’s death rate from cancer is 6% above the European average

A recent report by The james Whale Fund for Kidney Cancer states the UK’s death rate is ‘still around 6% higher than the European average’. This finding is set alongside the fact that spending on cancer medicines in the UK is only about 60% of that in other advanced European countries.

The relatively poor take-up of new treatments in the UK is one of the reasons listed in the report as ‘contributing to the higher death rate’. The Cancer Patient Support Group at The James Whale Fund for Kidney Cancer last week launched an online petition at No. 10 Downing Street calling for a review of the current system of NICE appraising newly licensed and approved Cancer drugs.

The news about poor uptake of cancer drugs comes as no surprise to kidney cancer patients from the James Whale Fund for Kidney Cancer; only last week kidney cancer patients received the devastating news that NICE have issued preliminary guidance to the NHS rejecting everolimus (trade name Afinitor & manufactured by Novartis) a new and innovative cancer drug for the second line treatment of advanced kidney cancer.

This comes despite NICE admitting “……..evidence implies that this treatment is clinically effective”.

This is just one example of the dire situation facing many cancer patients in the UK today. No matter what the cancer is, the poor uptake by NICE of cancer treatments is leaving the UK lagging far behind in survival rates.

Rose Woodward & Julia Black who work together helping cancer patients who have been refused funding for cancer treatments at The James Whale Fund for Kidney Cancer stated:

“The NICE decision means many of our UK kidney cancer patients will go without effective drugs, patients cannot afford to buy these drugs themselves and will die prematurely compared to the rest of the world. That is just not acceptable.”

For more information about The James Whale Fund for Kidney Cancer visit