A new study by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden shows that the American health care system outperforms the socialized systems in Europe in getting new medicines to cancer patients. The difference saves lives, and the existing Western European systems force people to die at higher rates from the same cancers, although the Telegraph buries that lede (via QandO):
The researchers studied Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, South Africa and the US, as well as 19 European countries, with a total population of 984 million, and looked at access to 67 newer cancer drugs.
They found that the proportions of female cancer patients surviving five years beyond diagnosis in France, Spain, Germany, Italy were 71 per cent, 64 per cent, 63 per cent and 63 per cent respectively. In the UK it was 53 per cent.
Among men the proportions still alive at five years in the same countries were 53 per cent, 50 per cent, 53 per cent and 48 per cent. Again in the UK it was lower at 43 per cent.
The Telegraph rightly focuses on the British system and its deficiencies. However, when one looks further into the article, the point about the American system finally surfaces:
Dr Nils Wilking, a clinical oncologist at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, said: "Our report highlights that in many countries new drugs are not reaching patients quickly enough and that this is having an adverse impact on patient survival. Where you live can determine whether you receive the best available treatment or not.
"To some extent this is determined by economic factors, but much of the variation between countries remains unexplained. In the US we have found that the survival of cancer patients is significantly related to the introduction of new oncology drugs." ...
The proportion of colorectal cancer patients with access to the drug Avastin was 10 times higher in the US than it was in Europe, with the UK having a lower uptake than the European average.
It's funny how the supposedly equalized treatment of people under Western socialized-medicine models holds people back from new therapies and new medicines, while the American model of market-based medicine (with significant regulation) outperforms in this regard by a factor of 10. That response allows patients to start treating their cancers earlier, but what this report misses is that the American model also allows for earlier detection, thanks to the long waits for procedures like CAT scans and the like in Britain and other socialized systems.
And yet, the Democrats this year have already begun discussing how they will bring the American system closer to nationalization. Perhaps their presidential candidates should read this report first. Certainly American voters should familiarize themselves with it.