Together we will beat cancer


The NICE logoThe National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) – the organisation that decides which treatments the NHS can buy – is never far away from the headlines.

Its decisions often divide opinion, and whenever we’ve written about them on this blog we’ve had a strong response from you, our readers, in the comments sections.

So we’ve arranged a short interview with NICE’s chairman, Professor Sir Mike Rawlins, where you get to suggest questions for us to ask.

We’ll be heading over to NICE’s offices armed with a selection of your questions and a microphone, and we’ll post the responses up on the blog later this month. So please get your thinking caps on and leave us your questions in the box below.



sue law February 16, 2011

With the imminent shake-up of the NHS looming, do you sense a change to your structure on the horizon?

Also, as GP’s will apparently have more control regarding money spent within the NHS, does this mean that they will play any part in your decision making?

davidwaldock February 15, 2011

Does NICE feel its expertise is being undermined as politicians seek to influence the way money is spent irrespective of the evidence?

Jack Serle February 15, 2011

I have some questions for Sir Mike. They are:

Do you think mass media coverage of health issues ever has an effect on the formation of guidelines?

Who sits on the panel that formulates new guidelines? E.g ratio of doctors/managers etc

How long does the average guideline take to be processed? New guidelines and amendments respectively.

Can’t wait to hear the podcast, should be very interesting

Clive Stone February 14, 2011

NICE costs the taxpayer a lot of money to support. Why cannot NICE now concentrate on working with pharmas to (a)create a robust data base of differing cancers (including rarer types) as to where they occur geographically/socially so that a more focussed approach for a cure may be made
(b) Those of us (small numbers)with rare cancers like my renal cancer need the option of sequential drug teatment and NICE should adopt a “can do” approach and increase the cost limit which was set in 1999 and should now be about £47k with inflation.

Beata Ciepal February 9, 2011

NICE cost limit is about £30k per one year of good quality life. If drug is more expensive, like Avastin for breast cancer, it’s not available on NHS. Has NICE ever considered to co-fund these drugs with the patient? I mean patient would have to cover cost of the treatment that is above maximum cost (as mentioned above). If one year treatment costs £42k patient would have to pay £12, pro rata.

Pauline Crawte February 9, 2011

This may not be appropriate for your questions, but I would like to know .. when the NICE guidelines for cancer treatment are not met who can we relay this information to, NICE say that they do not monitor whether they are being met, so what is the point of having guidelines at all.

samuel timberlake February 9, 2011

no i dont think that the new cancer drug will undermine the work nice does

samuel timberlake February 9, 2011

I think if this new cancer drug is of use to clients/patients then it should not in any way undermine nice’s work in the future.

Navin Sewak February 8, 2011

Do you believe that the Cancer Drugs Fund undermines the work that NICE does?