Yet again N.I.C.E. are refusing to approve a second line drug Everolimus (Afinitor) for treatment of Renal Cell Carcinoma (Kidney Cancer) patients.
On what basis? Yes, you guessed it, pure cost. It’s simply dreadful that we’re in this position again having just been through this with Sutent. When patients life’s are at stake we are dictated to by a committee driven not by compassion but by pounds and pence, it just isn’t right.
Based on what? The drug has only recently come onto the market and to that extent there hasn’t been a long enough period of time to jump to conclusions.
This kind of stupidity stifles the oncologists who are left with their hands tied and no treatment options. The ability to mix treatments is taken away from them. It’s a hard enough disease to contend without these barriers.
The toughest part of this is that we’re not dealing with thousands and thousands of patients, but just a small minority of people that could gain enormously. Whilst extra time appears to be irrelevant to N.I.C.E. it’s huge to the individual and their families.
Where is the compassion? I wouldn’t wish this disease on anybody but there are times I wonder if things would change if just one of these people at N.I.C.E. were directly effected , their minds would soon change.
As a rejoinder don’t think for one second that you’re protected by private health, these drugs are only made available for the first year and then it stops and you’re back in the NHS system.
An additional frustration is that some of these drugs are developed in the UK and yet are made available in other countries and we are left behind. Why is that? Are we so poor?
As usual we’ve been left with but a few weeks to appeal against the decision an as usual they’ve kept that part quite.
Come on N.I.C.E. get your act together and start making decisions based on compassion and not cost. If N.I.C.E. ‘s only purpose is to decide on a QALY factor then I fail to see why they are there in the first place. Anybody can do maths. We want more than that, we want an independent committee that makes its decisions based on clinical evidence and human factors. If N.I.C.E. is not making these decisions weighted on the side of the patient then I fail to see its value other than a way of the government being able to pass the buck.