Not so NICE news

NICE stands for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. This is a wonderful sounding group (heck, even their acronym sounds comforting), but, in reality, it is the United Kingdom’s version of death panels.  And, perhaps NICE is coming to a Medicare recipient near you.

NICE decided recently that it would not pay for Benlysta, the first drug developed for the treatment of lupus in 50 years.  And, when NICE decides not to cover this or any medication, no one in the UK receives the treatment because, in the UK, the government controls medical treatment.  Earlier this year, NICE decided not to pay for a new drug designed to help those suffering from multiple-sclerosis, and, another new drug for the treatment of leukemia.

If an insurance company in the United States refused to cover Benlysta, there would be howls of protest from those on the left.  But, there will be no howling here as most insurance companies cover this expensive drug.  And, that is the bottom line for NICE.  Clinical excellence is irrelevant, as is the patient.  All that matters is cost.

Why should we care?

Because NICE is coming to this country courtesy of Dr. Donald Berwick, President Obama’s recess appointment to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Here is what Dr. Berwick had to say about NICE,

In an interview on Comparative Effectiveness Research, Berwick supported an agency which would ration [sic] health care. He particularly focused on what he perceives as the benefits of the UK’s National Institute for Clinical Health and Excellence.  As Dr. Berwick said:

NICE is extremely effective and a conscientious, valuable, and — importantly — knowledge-building system [which has] developed very good and very disciplined, scientifically grounded, policy-connected models for the evaluation of medical treatments from which we ought to learn.

We have told you about Dr. Berwick before, and you can read some more of his soothing words here, and here.

I know you believe that this could never happen in America, but, how else can Dr. Berwick cut $500 billion out of Medicare as demanded by Obamacare?  Actually, now that I think of it, Dr. Berwick seems to be the perfect man for the job.


14 replies
  1. Eric
    Eric says:

    I am so looking forward the Supreme Court finding against Oblundercare, as well as an end to the never-ending stream of socialist fatheads, he calls them advisers, who have nothing better to do then drive our country into the ground. ?If NICE is such a terrific way to handle those pesky treatment options that a corrupt government believes will help them balance the books, on the backs of the most needy no less, then why don’t these clowns pick up and move abroad to one of these swell socialist paradises? ?

  2. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    “Clinical excellence is irrelevant, as is the patient.? All that matters is cost.”
    Hmmm.? Isn’t that the reason given by the lefties to inflict single payer government based healthcare on us??? All they cry about is how the “mean, old, uncaring, profit motivated” insurance companies won’t cover this or that, but we have Benlysta here, and the Brits don’t.? Maybe some can’t get it here because of cost, but over there, nobody can get it.
    Is liberal projection in healthcare claims too?

  3. JollyRoger
    JollyRoger says:

    I had gov’t healthcare in the service…? The V.A. actually misplaced surgical patients!? How can you achieve your wellness potential when they can’t even produce a body for your next of kin? ? Being a member of a small and supposedly humanitarian service, I was sent to V.A. hospitals, clinics in swamps, and also places like Bethesda- where the pols go.? Bethesda sets the measure, and all other places fall short.? If you’re 22 and it burns when you pee- gov’t healthcare can help you.? But if you’re getting long of tooth and your life depends on more than 15 mins with a corpse-man- God be with Ye!

  4. winnie
    winnie says:

    How can something be “scientifically grounded” and “policy-connected” at the same time?? Wouldn’t that mean they’re actually looking for and finding the science to support policy??
    If a prescription drug works, it is inhumane to withhold it from those who would benefit from taking it.? It’s bad enough for someone who wants insurance coverage and doesn’t have it to be told the cost of a medication that may save their life knowing that they can’t afford it…what’s worse is a whole society being told that the government has their backs and will take care of their health care only to find out down the road that groundbreaking, costly medications are off the table.? Yeah, every rx for everyone in England is the equivalent of $7.80 USD.? That’s great if you’re taking nothing but painkillers & prenatal vitamins (wouldn’t recommend combining the two, however).
    The British system of health care is anything but humane.? It may be cheap, but remember, you get what you pay for.? You pay nothing, you may find yourself death-paneled.? Yay for o-care & Berwick!

  5. JBS
    JBS says:

    “Newspeak” Nothing is what it seems to be. The meaning of a thing is often its opposite.?
    The UK?s National Institute for Clinical Health and Excellence is out to kill its patients; soon, O-care will do the same to us, efficiently, in the most cost effective manner without a hint of humanity. If you are old and in the way, you just die. If your therapy cost too much, you die.
    The worst part is that these people (Dr. Donald Berwick, et al.) are for real.
    Orwell had it right, unfortunately.

Comments are closed.