Saturday, November 29, 2008


"Patient groups will tell a committee of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) that there should be more leeway for the approval of drugs which cost more than the approved limit. Nice has asked its Citizens Council to consider in what circumstances it should go over its threshold for drug costs, currently set at around £30,000 a year per patient. Just weeks ago the Government ordered the body to look more favourably on expensive drugs which prolong life for terminal patients. Nice has faced criticism in recent years for denying drugs deemed not “cost effective” or for restricting them to patients in the later stages of their condition. The organisation was forced to overturn a decision to deny Herceptin, the breast cancer drug, to women in the early stages of the disease after a public campaign. More recently Alzheimer’s patients protested against a decision on the drug Aricept, which can slow down the progression of their disease, means that they have to wait for their condition to worsen before they can receive it."
(Daily Telegraph, 27 November) RD

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