NICE Fires Back at Witty, Defends Role
Posted 28 February 2012 | By
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), the UK's health technology assessment (HTA) body, fired back against GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) CEO Andrew Witty after he remarked that the agency is purposefully delaying drugs to save the government money.
"We have not been asked to change the basis of our assessments simply to save money," said NICE chief executive Sir Andrew Dillon. "Our independent advisory committees specifically look for innovation in new drugs but it is, of course, the case that being 'new' is not enough."
"A new drug has to offer more to patients than existing treatments to justify its additional cost, and we work hard to help companies understand the need to make the case for their new drugs, using the evidence," said Dillon.
Dillon's remarks come just a day after Witty slammed the agency and other European HTA bodies.
In remarks made 25 February 2011 in an interview with the British Broadcasting Channel (BBC), Witty claimed that government HTA bodies across Europe are delaying new drugs because it's cheaper to "not buy the second round of innovation."
"It's a lot easier [for Ministers] to cut drug prices than it is to close a hospital," said Witty.
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