N.I.C.E. To be stripped of its powers

Today has seen the long awaited decision to strip N.I.C.E. of its powers that enabled it to ban the use of much needed drugs. For the Kidney Cancer community this can’t come soon enough. For years now we’ve been fighting for our rights for new cancer drugs and treatments, for many this decision has come too late but nevertheless we’re grateful that common sense and decency have prevailed.

I have my concerns though.  Yes I’m delighted that this quango has had this controversial powers removed and it’s been downgraded to an organisation that will help write guidelines, but what does this really mean?

N.I.C.E. was only ever supposed to be group that offered guidance anyway, and why is it going to take until 2014 to action this? Surely that should be instant.

Also, are we moving into an even more ill defined postcode lottery? Who will really decide what drugs are going to be made available to you as a patient? The doctors, PCTs, some “to be defined” local committee? I’ve seen little clarity on this as yet and I worry that we could be entering into an even worse era.

It’s great to see N.I.C.E stripped like this, but let’s not take our eye off the ball. I’m going to the house of commons on Wednesday this week and I’ll be interested to hear other people’s views on this. I’ll report back.

Posted under Andy Thomas, N.I.C.E.

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