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“2020health is an important and thoughtful contributor to the health debate”

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chairman, Health Select Committee


Comment Don’t medicalise the well

Re: Breast cancer prevention drugs should be prescribed

Breast cancer is a terrible disease and prevention always sounds better than cure. However we need to apply our intelligence to calls for more and more preventative medications and examine the evidence and full consequences carefully.

Julia Manning, CEO of 2020health said, “When treatment is applied to risk factors, the outcomes can only be measured at a population level and you have to talk in terms of probability at the individual level. So we cannot know if a medication has worked for any individual, so just in case, you have to keep taking it. Taking this to its logical conclusion would see hundreds of thousands of us popping pills at a huge cost to the tax payer with no guaranteed savings and probably many unforeseen consequences.”

“With Tamoxifen it sounds like it is too early to judge but we must always question expanding ‘risk indicators’ and medicalising the well.”