UK to Keep New Medicines From the Elderly?

by Wesley J. Smith

The UK may soon tighten its health care rationing to prevent new medicines from getting to the elderly. From the Telegraph story:

New drugs would only be licensed for the NHS if they help those judged to be a benefit to wider society under proposals from the health watchdog. Pharmaceutical firms on Thursday night warned that the move could lead to new medicines being denied to the elderly.

A senior professor also said that the plans could threaten the well-being of older people and were “deeply suspect”, while charities questioned the ethics of the policy. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), which decides whether new medicines should be approved, is due to change its criteria on how funding should be allocated. Under an appraisal system,

Nice will have to take into account “wider societal benefits” alongside the cost of medication and its life-enhancing properties.Health experts have warned that vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, may lose out because they do not contribute as much to society as younger people.

I don’t think the restrictions would be limited to the elderly. In the crassly utilitarian world of health care rationing, a whole host of “non productive” people could be targeted for denial of medicines.

This kind of thinking is coming here if the Obamacarians get their way. Indeed, the UK’s rationing system was extolled as a model for the USA by some of Obamacare’s architects, the ACA’s regulators, and among the Medical Intelligentsia