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Rationing and medicine: what price life?


Rationing and medicine: what price for life?

Innovations in clinical practice, drugs and other technologies can improve the quality and extent of patients’ lives – but they are expensive. Established in 1999, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has been at the centre of numerous controversies over its recommendations about which new treatments are sufficiently cost effective to be made available on the NHS. But for those facing debilitating or life threatening illness, can a price be put on life? Should we be prepared to pay as much as necessary to save lives? Is NICE the answer, or part of the problem? Filmed at the Battle of Ideas, debate gets heated among top experts.

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WORLDbytes – The School of Citizen TV » The View On The Streets: Should a price be put on life? said:

[…] WORLDbytes report: Rationing and medicine: what price life? […]

Camille said:

“NICE does NOT put a value on human life — all life is precious — but in prolonging the life of a few people by a month or two, we also have to consider the many other people whose lives could be prolonged for years or decades by cost effective measures.”

Sorry, explain to me how this ISN’T putting a value on human life in which some people get culled (presumably the old, disabled, people with tricky or expensive illnesses) and others get saved (although of course if you’re rich and can pay for the medicine yourself these rules don’t apply).

Camille said:

“We look at new interventions… and attempt to decide how thier additional benefits relate to the additional cost and to what extent this additional cost will deny others cost effective care.”

How demeaning. I’m not putting a price on life BUT [insert lame excuse here].

Torquil said:

Sacrificing what is good (the best drugs available for all) at the alter of what is ‘realistic’ (rationing and effectively deciding who lives and dies) is the heart of the problem. How do we cure finititis?

Ceri Dingle said:

Another issue in need of a ‘pro-growth’ approach. It’s a pity the concept of limits is just assumed and not really tackled. Finite-itus seems to be very infectious and evidently a serious health risk. An excellent debate and well done to all who filmed it.

Maura T said:

No the NICE guy’s politics are not nice he is impressive in defending the need for excellent judgement on what drugs are good – who would disagree with that. But he is an arm of the treasury- deciding who lives who dies based on ‘cost effectiveness’. I thought as humans we were priceless.

Jon said:

Why is no one attacking the pharamacutical industry aren’t they makeing a fortune? Also my experience of temping for one of the big cancer research outfits was telling they were raking in the money supposedly for research – I was working in the fund raising department – there were hundreds of staff and the whole thing was big business- lots of us just messed about on the internet-pretty scandalous realoly-no wonder drugs cost a fortune. Why shouldn’t we have access for free or as cheap as possible for all the drugs which work .

Anthony said:

Gilland says hes not sure about this how can you not be sure if you are supporting the best possible for all of humanity? The NICE guy presents a good argument-sure- but they aren’t just judge and jury on what drugs work they are effectively an arm of the treasury deciding on ‘value for money’ that does make them the grim reapers.

J Howard said:

Arguing for all the drugs we want is not practical or financially realistic