NICE NOT SO NICE TO ARTHRITIS PATIENTS

I spent last week cycling along the Thames, visiting various towns upriver from London. The Brits were unfailingly pleasant. Wonderful people. Which is why this story from the BBC really pisses me off:

People with rheumatoid arthritis should have access to a particular class of drugs limited, NHS advisers say … The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence said patients in England and Wales should only be able to try one anti-TNF drug.

In other words, the health care commissars of the UK have decided that an arthritis patient whose condition doesn’t respond (or stops responding) to a particular anti-TNF (a drug that helps reduce joint pain, swelling, mobility and fatigue) doesn’t get a second chance:

NICE is systematically taking away clinically effective and proven treatments from patients and giving them just one roll of the dice when it comes to anti-TNF treatment.

And why is NICE taking this cruel position?

NICE said that giving patients two, or even three, anti-TNFs is not cost-effective …

So what if tens of thousands of patients must live with treatable pain? Who cares if these people have already paid (via taxes) for decent health care? Not the apparatchiks at NICE.

I guess this is what is meant by “Perfidious Albion.” The people I met in England deserve better than this.  So do we.

Comments 3

  1. Joe C. wrote:

    I also just spent some time in Europe, but we were on “the Continent”. The second largest represented nationality of our travel group was Brits (behind yanks). And I also greatly enjoyed their company. Their greatest asset was their pure and unrefined hatred of the French. It was especially amusing when we spent several days in France.

    I’m wondering why Marc Brown hasn’t responded about this being “another non-story” yet. Come on Marc!

    Posted 24 Jul 2008 at 9:38 am
  2. Marc B. wrote:

    sorry – my posts are being blocked…

    Posted 24 Jul 2008 at 4:44 pm
  3. Catron wrote:

    “Their greatest asset was their pure and unrefined hatred of the French.”

    Old grudges die hard. Maybe if the French gave Calais and Aquitaine back …

    “my posts are being blocked”

    I haven’t blocked them (deliberately), Marc. I may have screwed down the anti-spam lid too tight.

    Posted 24 Jul 2008 at 8:49 pm

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