Mad at fast track drugs proposal
The British are quite an innovative lot. The UK has contributed in no small way to some major advances in medicine ranging from DNA and test tube babies to CT and MRI scanners. Yet the NHS is said not be be innovative. Dr Grumble is not so sure that this is entirely true. Certainly we were slow to get the scanners we invented but that was at a time when the NHS was very much underfunded. And not all innovative treatments are worth having. We are said to be conservative when it comes to new drugs but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Many new chemical entities are not quite as marvellous as they at first seem and it is not unusual for serious, though rare, adverse drug reactions to become apparent after marketing rather than in the clinical trials. Some drugs just do not live up to the marketing hype and some drugs cost so much for such a minuscule benefit that it is just not reasonable to expect the taxpayer to foot the bill. And it is in dealing with this problem that the NHS has been innovative in requiring NICE to evaluate the value for money of treatments.
According to the Guardian:
The pharmaceutical industry has been fiercely critical of Nice since its inception in 1999 because it blocks sales of expensive drugs to the NHS that are of only limited benefit.
How can you be critical of curbing unreasonable spending on medicines? Surely expensive drugs that are of very limited benefit should never have been developed? If the pharmaceutical industry cannot produce drugs that are reasonably cost effective that is their problem and not the taxpayers'.
So, after all the effort put to developing NICE, why is the Office for Life Sciences proposing a system which bypasses current NHS procedures for safeguarding taxpayers money? See if you can work it out. There are clues in the Guardian article.