Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Drugs and money: tough choices

Today's NYT has a great article about how Britain decides which drugs it will pay for through its National Health Service. An entity called the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has the job of undertaking a cost/benefit analysis for new drugs. It compares a given drug's price with the drug's ability to improve or extend a patient's life. Some drugs make the cut (like Betaseron); others don't (like Avonex).

This makes some people really mad, natch. The value of adding, say, one year to the life of a 75-year-old male smoker is likely to be reckoned much higher if you happen to be the 75-year-old male smoker in question. But if the NHS's budget is finite, what is the alternative?


herrad said...

Take care and keep warm and happy
Have a happy Winter Solstice and a great Christmas.




herrad said...

Hope you are well.
Keep warm and happy.
ps my partner/carers blog

AToal said...

Hi Doug,

I can't seem to find an email address to contact you, so I'll just leave a comment if you don't mind.

My name is Ashley Toal, and I work in Patient Advocacy at MediciGlobal. We’re working on a multiple sclerosis clinical research study assessing the safety and effectiveness of an oral investigational study medication, teriflunomide. We’d love your help in informing the MS community about this study. Since your blog is so influential in the MS community, would it be possible to post some study information on your blog?

If you're interested, you can email me at

Thank you!

Ashley Toal

herrad said...

Hi Doug,

Hope you are ok as you have not posted since December .

Take care.
my partner-carers blog is