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Norway delays using new cancer meds

Norway is slow when it comes to start using new cancer medication, medication which could have given patients several more years to live.

About 20,000 Norwegian are diagnosed with cancer every year, but Norway is allegedly waiting too long to start using new cancer medication. According to the paper Nordland, Norway is also using much less of the chemo therapy treatment than for example Sweden.

«It is completely obvious that Norway is slow at starting to use new, expensive and modern medication in cancer treatment,» said Professor Erik Wist at Ullevål university hospital to the Norwegian daily Aftenposten.

«Based on a number of studies on the effect of these remedies, it is reasonable to assume that Norwegian cancer patients not always receive the treatment which could have prolonged their life.»

Of 16 countries in Europe, it is only Austria and Turkey that use less money on such treatment than Norway. Wist claims that this is due to the strict requirements connected to new medication in Norway, and because it takes so long for Norwegian authorities to approve new medication.

«It may also be a question of finance,» Wist stated. «This is often very expensive medication.»

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