New cancer treatments rejected by hospitals

“Innovative” cancer treatments are being rejected by the administration boards of the Portuguese Oncology Institute (IPO) due to their “reduced efficiency” and “high prices”, accuses the president of the Portuguese Doctors Association (Ordem dos Médicos).

The decision by the three IPO boards to refuse the use of many “innovative” cancer medications, including the abiraterone drug used in prostate cancer cases, has been described as “scandalous”.

However, the president of the IPO of Coimbra stated that it is impossible to ensure these alternative treatments for all patients: “The efficiency of these treatments is not reliable and there is not a good relation between the cost and the results. Besides that, the fee is unbearable, hence our joint decision.”

A source from the Ministry of Health said all clinical decisions relating to the use of medicine are the responsibility of the pharmaceutical and therapeutics commissions of the hospital administration boards, but the ministry has been accused of harsh cost-cutting measures.