After The N.I.C.E Demonstration………

The demonstration at the NICE HQ was a fantastic success, nobody can deny that. The back-pedalling from NICE since then bears testament to that and a great debt of thanks goes to those who made it happen.

To make the announcement about the eye drug on the same day as the demonstration shows just how low these people are prepared to go, they knew we were coming, we made no secret of it. They were even sniffing around the KCR website the day before to gather information on it. (In case you’re wondering how I know that www.sitemeter.com lets me see what IP Address’ are visiting the site and what pages they are viewing, I clearly can’t see individaul names but I can see network providers and larger organisations, and on that day it said N.I.C.E. … they came on 3 times).

The Eye drug announcement was just another one of those heartless and insensitive actions we’ve come to expect from a bunch of people who announce they have a £1.75 billion surplus in the NHS and yet refuse to let patients have the drugs they need, be they cancer victims or otherwise. Maybe they get paid bonus’ based on how much they can come in under budget?……..no, that’s just too cynical …… isn’t it? Also if they’ve had plans to readjust the QALY calculations then why did they wait to make that announcement? and why do they still not publish the algorithm for everyone to see? Theyr’e not the only people to understand comlpex statistics.

It’s all gone very quite, and I reckon they’re very thankfull for it.

I suspect we still need to tread carefully and ensure that we keep the pressure on. NICE have made “strange” decisions before and there’s nothing to say that they wont still turn around and say no to the drugs. We need to be on our guard. I’d like to see them make statements around any new drugs that come on the market that have the blessing of the experts (i.e. the consultants), I want to see statements that mean this will never happen again, and that never again will cancer patients be put under such extreme stress.

I believe that the real test of their intentions will be shown with the results of the next few PCT appeals. If they all go through on the nod then great, but I would hazard a guess that wont be the case. If I was a betting man I would expect them to now think that they’ve lulled us into a false sense of security only to deal a bitter blow next year.

Let’s keep the pressure on and keep on writing to them and the media and let them know that we’ve not forgotten. We all know that if we’d all sat back and done nothing we wouldn’t be in a position now where they’re back-peddaling like this.

I’m going to try and insist on a direct reply from my local MP. I cc’d her (Claire Ward) on my letter to Andrew Dillon. Her original response to another letter I wrote was weak. Although Dillon replied I’ve heard nothing from her. I also wasn’t happy with his reply to me so I’ll also be asking for clearer responses to some of the questions I gave. I’ll publish these as and when I get round to it.

Posted under Andy Thomas, Oxford Support Group Demonstration 27-Aug-08

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