Showing posts from August, 2008

Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité et Justice

"Days of Glory" is movie that is presently on general release on DVD. It highlights the actions of the French Government in relation to the colonial soldiers who fought and died fighting for France during the Second World War. It was originally released in 2006 as "Les Indigenes". An interesting BBC website article observes, albeit somewhat wryly, how the French Government modified its policy to these soldiers in reaction to the film. Just another reason for the French to feel proud about the war. We await with anticipation the movie exploring the actions of the British Government in relation to the Gurkhas.

NICE, politics and puppetry

There has been a call for NICE to see cancer drugs differently from other treatments. Has NICE really got it's sums wrong? The payor and the beneficiary have been separated by the existence of a political promise that the NHS will deliver treatment to the patient free at the point of delivery. Assume a treatment that carries proven clinical benefit. From the perspective of a patient a treatment is free when they do not need to pay for themselves directly. But almost any such free treatment, however small the potential net benefit, which gives a potential for an increased chance of survival almost inevitably carries utility. Cost free utility carries value and is the driver for infinite demand. NICE is the politicians tool to address the demand side of the supply-demand imbalance for healthcare within the NHS. NICE answers the question whether the drugs are value for money from the perspective of a fee-payer with a finite resource who is seeking to discharge a duty to deliver care.