NICE- the National Institute for Curbing Expenditure- labour’s road block to slow new NHS health drugs funding
Replacement for Professor David Nutt said cannabis should be legalised
Tue, 2 Feb 2010- A former Oxford academic chosen to replace sacked Professor David Nutt as the head of the government’s drugs advisory panel once called for the legalisation of cannabis.
Patients in England and Wales denied arthritis drug available in Scotland by NICE
Wed, 27 Jan 2010- Patients in England and Wales are being denied a powerful new arthritis drug on the NHS despite a decision by Scottish health authorities to provide it to sufferers for free by NICE- the drug rationing quango.
Fall in clinical trials of drugs through NICE
Wed, 13 Jan 2010- Investment by drugs companies and access by patients to innovative medicines in the UK are coming under threat, as data show a decline in the number of clinical trials conducted in this country.
USA is legalising marijuana on the quiet
Fri, 18 Dec 2009- You know things are shifting in America when Fortune magazine, the bible for business journalism, runs a cover story titled “Is pot already legal?
New drugs available on NHS before NICE appraisal
Fri, 11 Dec 2009- Patients with rare diseases are to get innovative new drugs on the NHS before they have been through NICE under a new pilot scheme.
Drug use in the City still a real problem
Thu, 26 Nov 2009- The use of alcohol and cocaine remains rife among City workers in spite of rising unemployment and lower wages following the credit crunch, leading physicians involved in the treatment of drug abusing professionals have warned.
Sharp rise in England swine flu deaths
Fri, 20 Nov 2009- The latest weekly bulletin showed a sharp rise in patient deaths and the number of children being admitted to hospital.
Sacked – for telling the truth about drugs
Mon, 2 Nov 2009- Labour fires top drugs adviser Prof Nutt for challenging its hardline policy on cannabis and ecstasy.
High society- Britain’s drug taking clubbers pt 2
Thu, 29 Oct 2009- The first wideranging academic study of clubbers’ behaviour in a decade, indicates that thousands of apparently successful, healthy and economically active people in their twenties, thirties and forties choose to be heavy recreational drug users at the weekend.
High society- Britain’s drug taking clubbers
Wed, 28 Oct 2009- Almost all of Britain’s thousands of clubbers routinely take drugs, in particular cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy.
Unoffical NHS euthenasia as daughter saves mother, 80, left by doctors to starve
Tue, 20 Oct 2009- An 80 year old grandmother who doctors identified as terminally ill and left to starve to death has recovered after her outraged daughter intervened.
UK children receive swine flu jab
Wed, 30 Sep 2009- The first children in Britain to receive a vaccine against swine flu have begun to be immunised.
Sentenced to death on the NHS by NICE red tape
Fri, 11 Sep 2009- Patients with terminal illnesses are being made to die prematurely under an NHS scheme to help end their lives, leading doctors have warned.
Cancer drugs fail to win NHS funding by killer quango NICE
Thu, 3 Sep 2009- Four drugs for treating various stages of kidney cancer have been turned down for health service funding in England by NICE, in spite of price cuts by the manufacturers.
Nearly 400 NHS dentists earn more than £300,000
Tue, 18 Aug 2009- Nearly 400 NHS dentists earned more than £300,000 last year, new figures show, despite millions of patients struggling to access free treatment.
Patients forced to live in agony after NICE refuses to pay for painkilling injections
Tue, 11 Aug 2009- Tens of thousands with chronic back pain will be forced to live in agony after a decision to slash the number of painkilling injections issued on the NHS by the killer quango, doctors have warned.
Tamiflu side effects linked to children reports find
Mon, 3 Aug 2009- More than half of children taking Tamiflu to combat swine flu suffer side effects such as nausea, insomnia and nightmares, new research claims.
Swine flu virus has mutated in London, scientists warn
15 Jul 2009- London has already developed its own mutated strain of swine flu, scientists warned yesterday.
NHS to give back pain acupuncture after NICE U Turn
Wed, Jun 3, 2009- Patients with persistent low back pain should be offered acupuncture, massages or exercises on the NHS, says new NICE guidance.
NICE guidelines on drugs are unfair MPs decide
Tue, May 19, 2009- The methods used by the labour government’s killer quango NICE to decide whether the NHS should pay for expensive drug treatments are wasteful and unfair, according to MPs.
Families call for fresh police investigation into Gosport hospital death ward
Wed, Apr 29,2009- Relatives of five patients who died on a hospital’s “death ward” have called for a GP to be reinvestigated after an inquest jury decided excessive doses of morphine contributed to their deaths.
NICE U turn as kidney cancer patients to get Sutent drug on NHS
Thu, 26 Mar, 2009- Terminal kidney cancer patients will receive an expensive drug on the NHS, following a U turn by the labour Government’s drugs rationing body.
Rheumatoid arthritis patients beneift from NICE U turn postcode lottery
Tue, Mar 3, 2009- Faster treatment has been promised for the 20,000 new sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis every year as part of the first nationwide guidance for treating the incurable condition.
High Stakes- Spice legal highs from the lab
Tue, Feb 24, 2009- Health Direct continues yesterday’s posting of the Financial Times’s review of labour’s drugs policy.
Health Direct reveals Labour’s drug problem
Mon, Feb 23, 2009- Health Direct asks what is the problem that labour has with drugs?
Killer quango NICE in cancer drug Sutent U Turn
Thu, Feb 05, 2009- Thousands of kidney cancer patients should soon receive an expensive drug that could prolong their lives on the NHS following an about turn by the labour Government’s drugs rationing body NICE.
NICEly does it- Financial Times comment
Fri, Jan 30, 2009- “Probably not. But it’s worth a bloody good try.”
NHS to widen drugs range in NICE U Turn
Tue, Jan 20, 2009- A wider range of costly “end of life” treatments for terminal illness is to be made available on the NHS, the body that recommends which treatments the service should adopt has confirmed.
Doctors will be offered cash incentives to prescribe new medicines
Thu, Nov 20, 2008- Doctors will be given extra cash when they prescribe newer, more expensive medicines under a pilot scheme aimed at accelerating the UK’s slow uptake of new medicines compared with other European countries.
Statin use may benefit healthy in new NICE postcode lottery
Tue, Nov 11, 2008- Guidelines on who is eligible for statins may need to be rewritten after an international trial found benefits in “healthy” adults, experts say- leading to a new postcode lottery for labour’s killer quango NICE.
Drugs denied to sick – against the rules of NICE NHS watchdog
Thu, Oct 2, 2008- Patients in many parts of Britain are being denied effective and sometimes life-saving treatments because of funding shortages in the National Health Service by NICE.
NHS’s refusal to fund cancer treatment costs mother £21,000
Mon, Sep 15, 2008- For Barbara Moss, the photographs of this summer’s camping trip to France will be particularly special.Two years ago, she was diagnosed with bowel cancer and given less than five months to live.
Cost cannot be the only criterion for the NHS
Wed, Sep 10, 2008- Health Direct posts a stinging letter from senior health professional lambasting NICE and labour’s financial accounting policies which favour tattoo removals over cancer sufferers.
NICE blight- at last a life saving choice for patients
Thu, Sep 04, 2008- For the past nine years the National Institute for Curbing Expenditure (NICE) has been called upon to make judgments on matters of life and death.
NHS risks losing cancer drugs after NICE blights patients
Fri, Aug 22, 2008- One of the world’s leading drug companies is threatening to withdraw some of its new cancer treatments from the process by which they are approved for use in the National Health Service.
NHS drugs body NICE ‘bullied, ignored and patronised’ patients
Thu, Aug 13, 2008- The NHS’s drug-rationing body NICE has been accused of bullying, ignoring and patronising patients in consultation over the availability of life-altering medication.
Cancer patients condemned to early deaths by NICE’s cruelty
Wed, Aug 12, 2008- Thousands of cancer patients have been condemned to an early death by labour’s National Institute for Curbing Expenditure (NICE) as they blocked paying for cancer drugs which are widely available in Europe.
NICE blights 40,000 people with Rheumatoid Arthritis access to life changing drugs
Tue, Aug 5, 2008- The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) has reacted angrily to the National Institute for Curbing Expenditure (NICE)’s decision will deny approximately 60,000 people with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) access to a range of Anti-TNF drugs and could blight them facing high levels of pain, the possibility of more surgery and long term disability.
Ban on NHS top up is cruel rationing, says BMA
Wed, Jul 30, 2008- Doctors believe patients should be allowed to pay for drugs that are not available on the NHS as they called for an independent inquiry into the controversial problem.
NICE banned cancer drugs better than NHS ones
Wed, Jul 23, 2008- Privately bought cancer drugs are proving to be up to five times as effective as NHS treatments, Health Direct reports on the suffering the co-payments ban is inflicting on patients.
Survey points to postcode lottery in health spending
Tue, Jul 14, 2008- NHS postcode lottery grows as the amount spent per head on health and social care is 17 per cent less in England than in Scotland, according to official figures.
Doctors for Reform fight NHS order to halt cancer care
Tue, Jul 8, 2008- Doctors for Reform- a group representing nearly 1,000 doctors is preparing to mount a legal action against the health service to stop care being withdrawn from patients who want to pay for their own cancer medicines.
NHS scandal of dying cancer victim who was forced to pay for her own drugs
Fri, Jun 27, 2008- A woman who died of cancer was denied free National Health Service treatment in her final months because she had paid privately for a drug to try to prolong her life.
Drug companies win Alzheimer’s Aricept appeal against NICE watchdog
Fri, May 16, 2008- The pharmaceutical industry won a stunning victory in the Court of Appeal over the labour government’s “value for money” watchdog NICE.
Lung cancer drug Tarceva ruled too expensive for English patients by NICE in postcode lottery ruling.
Wed, May 7, 2008- Thousands of lung cancer patients in England will be denied a drug Tarceva which could prolong their life after it was ruled too expensive by the NHS watchdog NICE.
Clot drug Pradaxa could save 25,000 lives a year
Thu, Apr 24, 2008– Wider use of a new blood thinning drug to stop clots could save thousands of lives a year, says a charity.
Doctors for Reform fight NHS order to halt cancer care
Mon, Apr 14, 2008- A group representing nearly 1,000 doctors is preparing to mount a legal action against the health service to stop care being withdrawn from patients who want to pay for their own cancer medicines.
MPs Call for rethink over NICE drug assessments
Thu Jan 10 2008- The cost effectiveness of new medicines should be judged by National Institute for Curbing Expenditure (NICE) in terms of the wider social benefits that their availability on the National Health Service would bring, according to MPs.
NHS U-turn on prostate cancer treatment by NICE
Mon 17 Dec 2007- A life saving treatment will be denied to tens of thousands of victims of Britain’s most common male cancer after a U-turn by the NHS rationing body NICE.
NICE U-turn on eye drug will save the sight of thousands
Thu 13 Dec 2007- Thousands of people will be saved from going blind following a U-turn by the government’s drug advisory body NICE- which will allow them to get an expensive new treatment on the NHS.
50,000 people denied insulin pumps in the UK by NICE’s postcode lottery
Fri 7 Dec 2007- The charity Diabetes UK is calling for more access to insulin pumps for people with diabetes as new research shows they are more effective in improving blood glucose control and reducing hypoglycaemic episodes than traditional insulin injections.
Strokes- postcode lottery for stroke scans costs lives
Wed 5 Dec 2007- Thousands of stroke victims die unnecessarily every year because access to the best care is subject to a “postcode lottery”, campaigners have said.
Experts criticise NICE drugs advisory body
Tue 30 Oct 2007- Labour’s drugs advisory body NICE is issuing poor quality guidance because it excludes experts from the drafting process, doctors told MPs.
NICE’s Alzheimer’s court win condems thousands to more suffering
Fri 10 Aug 07- NICE has thwarted campaigners who have failed in their High Court bid to force the NHS to fund Alzheimer’s drugs in people with early stage disease. However, the National Institute for Curbing Expenditure (NICE) has been told to rewrite guidance on how the disease is assessed.
NICE’s Alzheimers drug ban is abhorrent the High Court is told
Tue 26 Jun 07- The health watchdog NICE‘s decision to deprive 100,000 mild Alzheimer’s victims of a £2.50 a day drug that can delay the onset of the disease was condemned as “abhorrent and disgusting” in the High Court yesterday.
Cruel watchdog NICE condems 20,000 to blindness to save money
Thu 14 Jun 07- Twenty thousand people will be condemned to blindness each year following a “cruel” and “appalling” decision by the health watchdog NICE, campaigners said today. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (aka National Institute for Curbing Expenditure) has come under intense pressure to approve the drugs Lucentis (ranibizumab) and Macugen (pegaptanib) for use on the NHS.
Drugmaker’s proposal to NHS’s NICE- we’ll pay if cancer treatment fails
Mon 4 June 07- A British based drugmaker has made a groundbreaking offer to the National Health Service to cover the cost of a £25,000 cancer drug if a patient using it failed to show adequate progress. The NHS would only pay for the new drug, Velcade, when patients responded well to it, under a joint proposal from Janssen-Cilag the drugmaker.
Move to boost openness on NHS drugs by NICE
Tue 22 May 07- The labour government’s medicines advisory body will from this autumn open to public scrutiny the work of the committees that decide whether the health service should pay for new drugs. In a ground breaking move to boost transparency, Sir Michael Rawlins, the chairman of the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), told MPs that the action marked the latest in its efforts to boost transparency and that it had been a matter of “regret” that its committees had previously met in private.
Fears over NHS cancer drug costs blocked by NICE- National Institute for Curbing Expenditure
Tue 15 May 07- Cancer doctors have told the BBC they fear the NHS will not be able to afford the new generation of cancer drugs. Specialists are already arguing that patients may have to pay for more drugs themselves, with the issue becoming pressing as new drugs are developed. But some patients offering to pay for a cancer drug are being told they would have to meet all their care costs.
Warning over cuts to subsidies on drugs advice
Wed 21 Mar 07- Looming cuts to funding for independent prescription advice for doctors could undermine the best use of medicines in the UK, a senior medical figure warned yesterday. Sir Charles George, director of the British Medical Association’s BMJ Group, which publishes a range of guides for doctors, said: “We’re worried that a number of sources of information about good prescribing have disappeared.”
English denied cancer drug given to Scots by NICE
Wed 14 Mar 07- Lung cancer victims in England and Wales are to be denied a life-saving drug available on the National Health Service in Scotland — at least the eighth such decision in the past two years. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) last week rejected Tarceva, which is used to treat lung cancer, on the grounds it is not an effective use of NHS resources.
NICE faces inquiry by Commons MPs group
Wed 7 Feb 07- The Commons health committee has announced terms of reference for a broad inquiry into the work of NICE, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. The committee said it wanted to examine “why Nice’s decisions are increasingly being challenged” after recent controversial recommendations that the NHS should not use certain costly cancer drugs and should restrict the use of drugs to treat Alzheimer’s to those with moderate forms of the disease.
Drugs watchdog faces legal review- NICE’s approach is irrational and flawed
Fri 17 Nov 06- A decision by the Labour government’s drugs watchdog to restrict the use by the NHS of Alzheimer’s medication is to be challenged in court. Two drug companies plan to apply for a judicial review of the way the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence reached its conclusion. NICE ruled NHS patients with newly diagnosed, mild Alzheimer’s disease should not be prescribed the drugs.
National Institute for Curbing Expenditure (NICE) blights thousands of Alzheimer sufferers
Wed 11 Oct 06- NICE has been renamed by NHS doctors as the National Institute for Curbing Expenditure after it’s latest edict to ban the funding of Alzheimers drugs costing only £2.50 a day- which will effect hunderds of thousands of sufferers. “This blatant cost-cutting will rob people of priceless time” said Neil Hunt of the Alzheimer’s Society.
NICE’s delay could blind thousands with AMD campaigners warn
Fri 6 Oct 06- A drug for treating the disease which is the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK could also help people regain some vision, research suggests. Injections of the drug Lucentis can improve sight in people with a particular form of retina degeneration. Although the drug Lucentis has been given a US licence, NICE’s hold up will mean that thousands of UK sufferers of AMD will be denied access for their failing sight.
“Cruel” NICE bans bowel cancer drugs Avastin and Erbitux
Tue 22 Aug 06- Charities have criticised a proposal to block the routine NHS use of two drugs for advanced bowel cancer. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) said there was insufficient evidence to recommend Avastin and Erbitux. But charities say both drugs are the best option for seriously ill patients whose cancer has spread.
NHS drug watchdog backs Herceptin
Mon 12 Jun- The NHS’s drugs watchdog says people with early stage breast cancer should be able to get the drug Herceptin. The draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) comes two weeks after the drug received its European licence. Cancer experts say hundreds of lives will be saved by making Herceptin available across the UK.
NHS refuses to fund new prostate cancer Brachytherapy for men
Tue 6 Jun- Hundreds of men are being denied an alternative to radical surgery for prostate cancer because the National Health Service is refusing to pay for it. Hard-up primary care trusts across England have stopped funding Brachytherapy, a new form of radiotherapy, although it has been approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice).
10,000 in ‘breast cancer backlog’
Wed 24 May– About 10,000 women are now caught in a backlog for breast screening in the Northern Health Board area, the BBC has learned. The board said it was currently running 13 months behind schedule. It comes after a consultant radiologist who worked at three NI hospitals was suspended over concerns about his “clinical judgements”.
NHS told to fund treatment abroad in landmark court ruling
Tues 16 May– UK patients who are forced to wait longer than they should for NHS treatment are entitled to reclaim the cost of being treated in Europe, a court has ruled. The European Court of Justice said the NHS must refund costs if patients waited longer than clinicians advised, even if waiting time targets were met. The case, which centres on the definition of “undue delay”, could have a significant impact on the whole NHS.
Landmark High Court ruling in Herceptin patient’s favour against “irrational and unlawful” NICE guidelines
Wed 12 Apr– A breast cancer patient should have the drug Herceptin, according to a landmark ruling from the Court of Appeal this morning. Ann Marie Rogers of Swindon, Wilts, was appealing against an earlier High Court decision upholding Swindon Primary Care Trust’s refusal to fund Herceptin. The Appeal Court ruling does not force local NHS bodies to fund the drug, but it said it was irrational to treat one patient but not another. Ms Rogers, 53, had said she faced a “death sentence” without Herceptin.
Tue 4 Apr– Thousands of cancer sufferers are being denied life-saving drugs because of delays and bureaucracy in making them available on the NHS. The hold-ups are a matter of life and death for desperate people who have been diagnosed with cancer of the breast, colon or lung, or with a brain tumour.
Mon 20 Feb– A mother of three fighting for the NHS to supply her with the Herceptin cancer drug that could save her life lost her case in the High Court. The judge ruled that Swindon Primary Care Trust (PCT) had acted legally in deciding that Ann Marie Rogers, 54, was not “an exceptional case”.
Tue 14 Feb– Cancer care could be transformed within 20 years from a fatal disease to a manageable condition like diabetes, experts will announce this week. But the cost of ensuring that cancer is no longer a death sentence could not be funded under the current National Health Service, they will argue.
Tue 13 Dec– Women with early stage breast cancer see Herceptin as a potential life-saver, but health economies must cater for the needs of the whole population. And political interference makes a difficult situation even worse. It started with Somerset nurse Barbara Clark preparing to sell her house to fund a course of drugs that could be crucial in her fight against breast cancer.
Nice blight bypass for drugs runs out of money
Mon 7 Nov– A fast- track scheme to provide drugs on NHS runs into a funding row. Health ministers have approved a fast-track system to decide which new drugs the National Health Service should provide, but have found themselves locked in a row over funding.
Lancet calls Labour’s NHS plans irresponsible and potentially dangerous
Wed 12 Oct– The NHS: a national health sham- Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) as the public used to know it— a centrally managed, publicly owned, government- financed health system— is no more. The end of the NHS was confirmed last week by health secretary Patricia Hewitt, who pledged to continue with plans to introduce market-based contestability (the Government’s byword for competition) into primary care, despite strong opposition from many health workers.
Mon 3 Oct– British delays keep new drugs from cancer patients- cancer patients in Britain are less likely to be treated with the latest medicines than those in almost any other European country, except for former communist states such as the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. The lack of availability affects treatments including Herceptin, the breast cancer “wonder drug”.
Tues 20 Sept– Cancer charity CancerBACUP has issued the following statement in response to today’s Audit Commission report Managing the financial implications of NICE guidance “CancerBACUP highlighted the problem of postcode prescribing of cancer treatments in October 2003” says CancerBACUP Chief Executive Joanne Rule. “It is appalling that almost two years later the Audit Commission has found that only 25% of NHS bodies are implementing NICE guidance and that a lack of financial management at PCT level is largely to blame. “
Mon 12 Sept- Cuts keep patients waiting for drugs- Tens of thousands of patients face potentially fatal delays in receiving the best drugs for their diseases because of Government cuts, it was admitted. Almost a quarter of the treatment appraisals being carried out by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice) have been delayed because it has had to scrap one of its three committees carrying out assessments.
Sun 21 Aug– Rationing of cancer drugs by the NHS will provoke fresh controversy this week with a revelation that a treatment which could help thousands of patients will not be available across the country for at least two years.
Wed 11 May– Patients should be refused treatment because of their age in some cases, government advisers have proposed. Where age can affect the benefits or risks of treatment, discrimination is appropriate, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence said.
Tue 1 Feb– Thousands of couples desperate to become parents will not receive free fertility treatment, despite a government pledge to offer at minimum of one cycle on the National Health Service. An investigation can reveal that fertility services in England and Wales are in crisis, with some NHS trusts refusing to supply any treatment for certain couples.