Thursday, February 23, 2006

Nice being nasty again….

So it goes….. Another day, another cancer-suffering English patient having to stick his hand in his pocket to pay for his own treatment…..

Those paper shuffling morons at the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) are at it again. It’s not the breast cancer drug, Herceptin being refused this time - Now it’s ‘Temozolomide’ – a drug that treats aggressive, fast growing brain tumours. The drug was invented and developed in this country. Other countries throughout the world are using it routinely – so why not here?

No need to ask really…… money. The guy paying for his own treatment is up to 10 grand and counting.

NICE are really rubbish – it’s nothing to do with clinical excellence. The painfully slow assessment process is nothing short of prevarication and bluster. They use the excuse of non-approval as delaying tactic to avoid spending cash. And when a drug is finally given the green light – we pay on average 20% more than other western countries for the stuff.

Pretty crap really, especially as the annual budget for the NHS is a bloody unbelievable 94 billion quid……

One thing’s for certain, ‘NICE’ are not independent, nor are they ‘nice’ – they merely dance to the Government’s tune. They should be rebranded – to the National Authority for Fund Fannying (NAFF).

7 comments:

Mike said...

Spot on Alfie.

jonathan s said...

sorry alfie but I think this is bollocks....read this article here:

http://www.healthwatch-uk.org/nlett39.html

its both a criticism of health care by media and the 'wonder drug' system. It seems well researched and gives an opposite view point....its also over 6 years old and still the BBC are rehashing like the daily mail the same old crap about cancer wonder drugs and not presenting the full story, much like herceptin, a very dangerous and expensive drug.

heres a quote from the article:
"An example is temozolomide, earlier this year hailed by The Times as a “wonder drug for brain cancer”. The Times claimed that temozolomide was developed in Britain but is being denied to British patients while being much more widely available abroad. However, an authoritative review (1) in The Lancet in April this year by Dr T Batchelor of the Brain Tumor Center at Massachusetts General Hospital concluded that studies to date show that the beneficial effect of this drug is marginal at best—hardly a wonder drug! A cancer drug with none of the above characteristics is the radiosensitiser nimorazole. In a well-conducted large double-blind randomised controlled trial in Denmark2, nimorazole improved long-term local control by radiotherapy of head and neck cancers by 16%, and reduced the relative risk of death from the cancer by a factor of 26%. The toxicity of the drug is minor, and the cost per patient approximately £250. This result was highly significant, so that nimorazole is now given routinely to head and neck cancer patients receiving radiotherapy in Denmark. Nevertheless, this drug has received no media attention or interest from the pharmaceutical industry, and is not available elsewhere. It would seem that evidence from clinical trials is not the only factor influencing publicity and enthusiasm for drugs to treat cancer."

My opinion is that the beneficiaries are the pharmaceutical companies who use the media to create demand for drugs they have spent millions on and want to recoup their losses.

Mike said...

All I'll say is, try living through cancer with a close relative Jonathan, it might change your perspective on what really matters.

Any chance is a chance worth taking.

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