Thursday, August 16, 2007

Stupid Government Tricks #899

From time to time, we highlight some the effects of government-sponsored health care rationing in countries touting "universal health care." And much like those gloves that promise "one size fits all," such schemes generally end up fitting everyone poorly.
Such is the case of the Scottish health care system's recent decision regarding the use medications such as Aricept. In its infinite wisdom, the Scottish National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) labeled that class of drugs as "not cost- effective in early Alzheimer's." The med will apparently still be available to folks in the later stages of the terrible disease, but not those recently diagnosed, who may have seen their declining condition slowed somewhat.
Notice that they didn't say "non-efficacious." They simply classified them as cost ineffective. On the one hand, perhaps they're right (after all, they're responsible for saving Scottish dollars (pounds? euros? whatever), and here's a quick and easy way to do just that. On the other hand, this action removes another potential tool from MacDocs seeking to treat their senior patients.
I guess it's bad news for Nessie.
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