Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Who said NICE is nasty?

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

First thing in the morning, on the crowded bus journey I've taken to reading the News on my phone. Yesterday morning one story in particular caught my eye, it was in the Guardian and titled 'Cancer drug too expensive for NHS'. I got rather excited at this point as I hadn't thought I would find a story more interesting than that about a Lion eating an Owl at Colchester Zoo.  It talks about the prostate cancer drug, Abiraterone (aka Zytiga), and how it has recently been deemed too expensive for general NHS use by NICE. The drug is said to be one of the last few treatment options for men who have advanced prostate cancer. The reason for NICE saying 'no thank you' is that they have calculated projected costs of the drug and it has exceeded the budget set for people at the end of their lives by approximately £13,000. The reason this article appealed to me is because I find cancer interesting mainly for a lack of a better description because it seems to be that of an half solved puzzle. Also last semester we had a lecture about Medicines Management and sticking firmly to budgets that I found rather enlightening. However after reading the Guardian article the anticipation I had previously felt dissipated. As now that I have some knowledge about Medicines budgets and a vague idea of the process of events that lead to a drug being added to a hospital formulary, the portrayal of NICE as such a monster for saying 'no' annoyed me. I don't feel that it is fair that for as hard a job as they do, NICE don't get the respect and the acknowledgement by the press and therefore the general public for their work. As in my opinion the NHS is one of the best things about this country. The other day my friend came out and said that it was inevitable that the whole thing would be privatised. When I asked her why and how people who couldn't afford treatment would get it she didn't have an answer. Therefore I would love for the press to cut NICE (and the NHS) a bit of slack in the future, although this is probably a pipe dream. Although by a stroke of pure luck it might, as the NICE decision about Abiraterone is being appealed against anyway.

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

From: Tomorrow's pharmacist blog

Students and preregistration trainees voice their opinions here

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.