5 Implications for the NHS

5 Implications for the NHS

5.1 In May 2000 the Institute's guidance indicated that the total annual cost of adding paclitaxel to platinum therapy in England and Wales was approximately £28 million (assuming that 4000 patients were treated at a cost of £7000 each).

5.2 Given that the guidance set out in Section 1 promotes informed choice between the available treatments, it is difficult to estimate the likely current resource impact on the NHS. However it appears unlikely that the guidance will result in an increase in the resources required to treat ovarian cancer. In fact, since women who do not receive paclitaxel in combination as first-line chemotherapy may receive the drug later as second-line therapy, the total number receiving paclitaxel at some point in their treatment may remain approximately unchanged, as may the total cost of chemotherapy for ovarian cancer.