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NICE – unless you happen to be ill!

September 10, 2008 Leave a comment

The Daily Mail has reported that the UK Government’s health rationing body, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is spending more on “communications” than on actually testing new drugs, their prime reason for existence.

The Mail states:

The health rationing watchdog has come under attack for spending more money on spin than on evaluating drugs which could save patients’ lives.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which has been widely criticised for banning drugs from NHS use as too expensive, squandered £4.5million on ‘communications’ last year.

This was £1.1million more than the £3.4million the controversial organisation spent on assessing new medicines.

The money forked out on press officers, marketing executives and consultants included £25,000 on top public relations firm Weber Shandwick to defend NICE’s ban on Alzheimer’s drugs. 

It could have paid for 5,000 Alzheimer’s sufferers to get £2.50-a-day drugs for a year. Alternatively it would have funded nearly 200 patients with advanced kidney cancer to have a drug for 12 months that would double their life expectancy.

Tens of thousands of people across the country are waiting for NICE to assess drugs that could extend their lives or alleviate conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and thinning bones.

This seems  to be just another Labour Government excess. How do people who are dying because they are not allowed drugs because they are too expensive feeling now?

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Categories: health, Politics Tags: , ,