Human Exceptionalism

Obamacare: UK’s NICE Again Proves Peril of Centralized Control of Health Care

The UK’s NICE reliably illustrates the peril we will face of Obamacare’s form of centralized control is allowed to take hold. From the story:

The Government’s drugs rationing body, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), has provisionally said that it does not intend to recommend the use of the drug, called Tocilizumab, or Roactemra. Nice claims that the £9,000 a year drug, for rheumatoid arthritis, has not proved that it is cost effective.

But patients in Scotland are to receive the treatment after it was recommended by the body which regulates drugs on the Scottish NHS, the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC). The move will reopen accusations of medical ‘apartheid’ within Britain. It follows an outcry after patients in Scotland were given access to expensive cancer drugs denied on the NHS in England and Wales. Roactemra has been described as a “life changing” drug because it can be taken after other medications have failed, a common problem in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Patients groups last night said that denying the medication to tens of thousands of patients with the crippling condition in one part of the country was “cruel”.

In a privatizes system, no insurance company can refuse efficacious treatment of this sort for fear of lawyers and government regulators.  But centralized government control turns that paradigm around, undercutting lawsuits and putting regulators on the side of denial of care.  That NICE can turn it down–leading to the failure to reduce human suffering that can be relieved based on a subjective notion of not worth the money–is a terrible demonstration of why we should refuse this road.

By the way, the drug was approved in Europe last year. It just received FDA approval, too.