I can’t understand the blame being apportioned in press coverage over NICE’s decision not to fund Avastin, or bevacizumab, for the treatment of advanced bowel cancer. Many patients groups are laying the blame with NICE. Is this fair?
The important bit to me is ‘cost effectiveness’. It isn’t about either cost or effectiveness alone. While Roche have offered a risk sharing scheme for cost (which wasn’t much less cash and still looked pretty expensive to me), it would have been better had they simply made their product cheaper. In other words, if you have a product which is marginally effective, compensate for this by making it less expensive. If the price is right, it thus becomes cost effective and NICE approved.
Don’t blame NICE. Examine the pharmaceutical pricing instead.