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Nice Blight

Pain relief drug ruled too costly for the NHS - Times Online

Thousands of arthritis sufferers will be denied treatment with proven benefits by a decision not to pay for a new drug.

Guidance issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), the watchdog that controls access to drugs on the NHS, will recommend today that the drug does not represent value for money, although it has been shown to improve dramatically the severest symptoms of arthritis in almost half of patients.

Abatacept, which has the brand name Orencia, is the latest of a new generation of drugs to be blocked by NICE on the ground that it is not cost-effective.

About 400,000 people in the UK have rheumatoid arthritis, of whom a tenth (40,000) have a severe form. Many benefit from a class of drugs called anti-TNFs but about a third do not. This group, of around 12,000 patients, could potentially benefit from new drugs such as abatacept....

Of course this advice doesn't apply in Scotland - not that the Media are reporting this. No wonder The NRAS are complaining to the House of Commons...

...NICE's role is increasingly being dominated by economics arguments rather than an evaluation of the therapeutic benefits (short and long-term), with innovative and effective licensed medicines not being recommended by NICE on predominantly cost-effectiveness grounds.....We are concerned about the inequities that persist between England and Scotland, both in terms of the absolute decisions being made and in terms of delay in reaching decisions. It is well documented that the NICE Multiple Technology Appraisal (MTA) process takes a minimum of 54 weeks in theory, and often much longer in practice. By contrast, the Scottish Medicines Consortium's review process takes only 4-6 months. ...
Whilst a NICE decision is pending, patients are further disadvantaged as a consequence of the phenomenon known as "NICE blight".

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I scored 20 - the average male scientist.

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