I am currently denied a particular course of medication, in the sense that NICE has determined that the NHS would not receive value for the£2,000 per month that it would cost.
I submit that when making such judgements, NICE should set out the price at which it judges the NHS would receive value for money. In cases where the drug is simply not efficacious, that would naturally be nil.
Such a policy would open the way for people to campaign for a price reduction on the part of the drug company in question. It might also open up a more public debate on the policy of guaranteeing drug companies a high, risk-free rate of return on capital employed.
I can see no merit in protecting monopolies to the disadvantage of patients. If a company judges that there is no business case for manufacturing a particular drug at a price that gives value for money, its only ethical alternative is to release its patent to anybody elsewho will do so.