An analysis of UK newspaper reporting of the NHS Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) between 2010 and 2015 shows that despite some critical analysis, the mostly positive stories are likely to have contributed to the CDF’s continuation, despite mounting evidence of its ineffectiveness. Close to £1.4 billion in total has been spent through the CDF which has subsequently been reconfigured and is now under the control of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
The research, published by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, was based on stories in nine national newspapers in the UK. As well as looking at whether stories were positive, neutral or negative, the researchers from the Institute of Cancer Policy, King’s College London and the University of Bristol measured the influence of each newspaper’s reporting of the CDF, based on circulation and number of stories.
Lead researcher Dr Grant Lewison said: “Our analysis showed there was three times as much coverage in favour of the CDF as against. Media reports did not scrutinise the discrepancy between those drugs available through the CDF and those diseases with the greatest health burden, the toxicities of the medicines, nor the opportunity cost of the
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