Think tank warns on NICE change

The DoH must re-assess patient access schemes before it makes NICE's role in rationing medicines redundant, according to a think tank.

In its report, Sharing the Burden, pro-market group The Stockholm Network welcomed the DoH's move away from centralised medicine rationing.

But similar patient access schemes around the world are still in their infancy and none yet provide an acceptable alternative, it said.

The Stockholm Network director Helen Disney said: 'Even at a time of austerity, the British public does not want or accept rationed healthcare.

'But it would be a shame if the NICE experiment was replaced by an equally unpredictable and misguided means of allocating resources.'

The think tank examined 27 examples of risk-sharing schemes similar to the one proposed by health secretary Andrew Lansley.

It found the impact of these schemes was too varied for them to be relied upon.

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