But access to the most COSTeffective treatment.
Thousands of women are being denied better osteoporosis drugs because of unnecessarily restrictive Government guidelines, a doctor said last night.
Professor David Reid, an expert on brittle bones, said the rules are so stringent that GPs are often prevented from giving alternative treatments to those suffering side-effects from their pills.
A once-a-year jab that could save thousands from the misery of broken bones is also not going to be assessed for use on the NHS in England and Wales for at least three years, despite being available in Scotland.
It means that sufferers are being denied drugs that could have a major impact on their health and their quality of life. The news will reignite the debate about the evaluation system used by drugs rationing body the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
NICE has previously been criticised for banning or restricting breakthrough medicines for conditions such as breast cancer and Alzheimer’s.
A spokesman for NICE said the guidelines ‘provide postmenopausal women with consistent access to the most costeffective treatments’. (my emphasis)
Notice the acronym – NICE. A warm, fuzzy name for a group of bureaucrats who sit around and do a cost:benefit analysis on what drugs you should, and shouldn’t have access to. Coming soon to a health care system near you, America.