The UK’s rationing board NICE will soon be defanged, but its teeth still remain sharp. The current victims, leukemia patient’s whose lives could be saved by a drug the rationers have deemed not cost/benefit worthy. From the Telegraph story:
Leukaemia sufferers in England have been denied drugs that are available on the NHS in Scotland. The treatment rationing body, Nice, has ruled that three types of medication, which can give a normal life expectancy to patients with the rare blood cancer, are not effective enough considering they cost up to £40,000 a year.
But campaigners say the decision is unfair to about 1,000 people in England and Wales who do not respond to the standard treatment for the disease, called imatinib. They point out that the drugs are available on the NHS in Scotland and are also available in 29 European countries along with America, Canada and Australia for those who have chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). It comes amid growing evidence that NHS managers are restricting access to drugs in an attempt to cut costs, and will further increase the pressure on the Government’s new £200million Cancer Drugs Fund to provide hope to those denied treatment for less common diseases.
Private insurance companies could never get away with this. But government empowered rationers can.
This story has great relevance for us here in the States. Remember, Obamacarians ?! NICE. Donald Berwick swoons. Tom Daschle, the god father of the health care bill—whom the NYT called the most influential adviser in its creation—wanted a bureaucratic equivalent of NICE here in the USA. Consider the many cost/benefit bureaucracies created by Obamacare, and considering the president’s desire to expand the powers of the already too powerful Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board, the word, “beware,” seems quite apt.