Press Association (KC) 18-Aug-08

From Kidney Cancer Resource

Jump to: navigation, search

To Go To Press Association (KC)

'End postcode lottery health care'

The boss of the NHS's drug approval body has called on local healthcare trusts to end Britain's 'postcode lottery' row.

Andrew Dillon, chief executive of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), said Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) should be consistent when deciding whether to make funds available for medicines.

His comments follow growing public anger over the number of drugs and treatments being blocked by Nice.

Mr Dillon told the BBC's Panorama: "It shouldn't make any difference where you live. There ought to be a common basis for making decisions about exceptional circumstances and I think anybody who uses the NHS for their care is entitled to expect that.

"What patients need to do is to find out from those who are making the decision what the basis of that decision is, and if they don't think it's reasonable, if they don't think it compares appropriately with decisions that are taken elsewhere, ask 'why not?'"

NHS trusts have a legal obligation to provide treatments approved by Nice. But, in the absence of such approval, a patient must appeal to a committee at the local trust which can choose to fund it as an exceptional case.

Those who are refused must settle for a less effective treatment or pay privately for the drugs - at the risk of having all other NHS care withdrawn.

Cancer consultant Mark Saunders, from Manchester, claimed there were huge inconsistencies. He launched an investigation after cancer sufferer, Naomi Kiely, 34, claimed she was unable to get potentially life-saving drugs because her PCT would not approve it.

Mr Saunders said: "If you have a patient from Cheshire they have a very good record. Most of the time we apply to Cheshire they tend to fund patients that have exceptional circumstances. If we apply to the Manchester Primary Care Trust then in the eight applications we've made they've only accepted one for funding in 2006."

During the Panorama programme Mr Dillon also hints that Nice may not be able to meet the Health Secretary Alan Johnson's recent pledge to try to bring decision-making on new drugs down from an average length of two years to just three months.

To view the original article Click Here

Convert This Page to PDF format


Kidney Cancer Resource (KCR) is not influenced by sponsors. The information contained herein is not intended as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other licensed health care provider. The information provided here is for educational and information purposes only. Early accurate Diagnosis (Dx.) saves lives. Please check with a physician if you suspect you are ill, never ignore Symptoms. To help your health care specialist make an accurate Diagnosis please keep notes of dates, times and details of your Symptoms. We are not offering medical advice nor do we consider links, individuals or articles accessed through this site to be offering medical advice.

E&OE - Errors & Omissions Excepted

As much of the information posted on this Web Site for peoples convenience is of a medical or technical nature, and may be a matter of life or death the E&OE is a Disclaimer showing that to the best of our ability information is accurate and correctly written or transcribed. Before acting on information on this site you are responsible for checking it with your relevant medical team. We can not be held responsible for any Errors & Omissions made; nor for information on links and articles provided in good faith.

Personal tools
Locations of visitors to this page