If I happened to be the winner of yesterday's £85 million Euro Millions Lottery Jackpot, and I decided to use my windfall in order to move into a mansion in a leafy English shire, I would still be able to get free prescriptions on the English NHS. So if Andrew RT Davies objects to free prescriptions being given to Welsh millionaires, of whom there are few, why do his friends in Westminster continue to provide free prescriptions to millionaires in England (of whom there are many)?
Free prescriptions (regardless of income) are available to English millionaires who are aged 60 or over, and those who suffer from some long term illnesses such as epilepsy or diabetes, and those who are pregnant or have been pregnant during the past 12 months.
Cancer is an emotive subject; it is probably the disease that frightens many of us most. When Andrew states that patients are being deprived of cancer drugs because millionaires are getting free paracetamol in Wales, he makes an emotive point. An emotive point that is frankly immoral. To gain enough money to give just one patient a course of Avistin, his fabled Welsh millionaire would have to give up one hundred and fifty thousand courses of free prescription paracetamol. The cost of the 24 cancer drugs that Andrew RT wants to provided on the NHS in Wales would cost as much as 1380 Trillion boxes of paracetamol. Andrew's millionaire mate must have one hell of a headache!
If the drugs that Andrew RT Davies was complaining about cured cancer, I would have sympathy for his argument, but they don't. The drugs extend life for between 3 and 5 months, months that will be lived suffering from cancer rather than living with cancer, at a cost estimated by the Scottish Government in 2006 of between £24k and £93k per patient for the drugs alone (the prolonged palliative care will add to the cost).
If my doctor tells me tomorrow that I am going to die before next Christmas I can see no justification in spending £93K+ in keeping me alive until next Easter.
To expect hundreds of ill people in Wales to fork out £7.50 a script for drugs that will make them better, in order to finance my terminal illness for an extra two months of a drug comatosed life would be selfishly sick.