NICE : Won't give life saving drugs but will give drug addicts shopping vouchers

Remember when NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) told us that they couldn't license Herceptin and other drugs because of the costs ? Isn't it a massive contradiction now that they are suggesting giving shopping vouchers to drug addicts if they can kick the habit ?

What next, cash lump sums for reformed bank robbers or a free DVD for a burglar that can stop burgling ?

Seriously though, I know drug addiction is a serious problem and need new and innovative ideas to halp tackle it, but NICE have contradicted themselves so much over this that they make themselves seem irrelevent and out of touch and do not seem to be serving the best interests of patients.


Tristan said...

I expect the QUALY says that it is more value for money.

This is why we need drastic reform of the NHS, you cannot have a group of 'experts' deciding the value of a person's life or of the value of the treatment to them.

Joe Otten said...

But Tristan, if you fund one treatment for one condition in preference to another, you are implicitly comparing the value of one life to another. There is no escape from this. There may be something said for cruder measures which ignore quality and treat all lives the same. But that cruder measure still implies the same kind of value judgement.

Nich, if, frankly, peanuts spent on vouchers can tip the balance of an addicts inner turmoil for the better, why not? I'd rather spend less on a better treatment that offends a few sensibilities than more on a worse one that doesn't.