However, it expressed disappointment that the full process by which NICE arrives at its decisions should not be made public for scrutiny by patients, the pharmaceutical industry and other stakeholders.
“There is a need for complete transparency when NICE is making important decisions that affect people’s health. Everyone ought to know on what basis such crucial decisions are made, and I therefore find the court’s decision very disappointing,” said Dr Richard Barker, Director General of the ABPI.
The ABPI is also studying the implications of the judicial review’s decision with regard to how NICE took into account the benefits that medicines bring to carers and the costs of long-term care. The ABPI believes that NICE’s decisions rely very heavily on cost per quality-adjusted life year, using healthcare costs and benefits only, and do not properly acknowledge the full “value” of medicines to patients, their carers and society at large.
“In making these difficult decisions, NICE should be taking greater account of broader quality of life issues for patients and their carers as well as cost savings that can be realised in reducing the need for hospital treatment, social care and getting people back to work. These areas are largely ignored at the moment,” said Dr Barker.
For further information, please contact: ABPI Press Office 020 7747 1410