Tuesday, 2 November 2010

NICE neutered by Lansley

This blog has written before about NICE at length - and one of the central themes in the last post on the matter was the suggestion that Andrew Lansley was prepared to withdraw the ability for NICE to make enforceable decisions regarding the efficacy and cost effectiveness of medical treatments.

Well, after much lobbying from the pharmaceutical industry and the the right-wing tabloid press, he's done just that.

Until now NICE has had the power to make nationally-binding recommendations where there is uncertainty in the apparent value of a medical treatment. Not any longer.

These changes mark another step in this government's aims to fragment the NHS. With this fragmentation comes the acute danger that the balance of power will shift significantly in the direction of large private corporations, who don't always work in the best interests of patients - as recent experiences in the UK and US have demonstrated.

Needless to say, Big Pharma are happy.

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