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NHS may only accept new drugs if 'judged to be a benefit to wider society'

Public service union encourages America to support socialized healthcare
Public service union encourages America to support socialized healthcare
AP Photo/Sang Tan via

Yesterday, Sarah Knapton of the Telegraph reported that a new proposal by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) would only accept new drugs for the United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS) if those drugs are deemed to be "a benefit to wider society."

NICE is quite relevant to Americans, as it was the model used to develop Obamacare’s rationing (yes, rationing) committee, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which has been damned by the American Medical Association and is so controversial, in fact, that members have not even been appointed to the board, and likely won't be, as discussed at Liberty Unyielding.

As noted in regard to the Obamacare trainwreck,

"If you think the website is bad, or that losing your insurance or facing higher premiums and deductibles is a burden, just wait until you are denied care because you or your loved ones have been deemed unfit to qualify."

Academia, particularly in the field of bioethics, largely considers rationing to be inevitable. Their dilemma is only how to speak of it in the public square, as discussed at the Shire Blog. Renowned bioethicists Daniel Callahan, Peter Singer and Art Caplan have all lamented out loud and without scrutiny or irony, that "rationing" needs to named differently.

Callahan wrote, for example,

"It is not, however, easy to come up with a good euphemism for rationing, though 'setting limits' and 'resource allocation' are the common code words."

Knapton writes,

"Under an appraisal system, Nice will have to take into account 'wider societal benefits' alongside the cost of medication and its life-enhancing properties."

There are so many concerning elements to the NICE proposal. Would certain drugs be dismissed if they are targeted for the elderly who are no longer working, for example? How about drugs for people with terminal conditions?

NICE assures that the proposed appraisal system would be applied “consistently, transparently, and equitably."

This author is less than convinced.

Follow Renee Nal on Twitter @ReneeNal and Facebook.

Check out her news and political commentary on Liberty Unyielding, Gather and for news you won't find in the mainstream media. Renee is also a guest blogger for the Shire Blog.

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