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News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

NICE's appraisal procedures attacked

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 21 October 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:980
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. London

    The process used by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) to evaluate drugs used in England and Wales has been hit with a barrage of criticism on the eve of its decision on interferon beta as a treatment for multiple sclerosis.

    The institute has been accused of being uncooperative, uncommunicative, and biased towards health economic data. In addition, some critics say that it treats patients, their support groups, and pharmaceutical companies with disdain.

    The Multiple Sclerosis Society has attacked NICE for acting unfairly in planning to ban interferon beta from the NHS and is supported in its plea to make the drug freely available to suitable patients by six other organisations, including the Association of British Neurologists and the Royal College of Nursing.

    The institute has “failed procedurally” and is “deeply flawed,” they claim. It has severely restricted how many people can be heard in the appeal …

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