Wednesday, December 3, 2008

New York Times: Triage at Work

New York Times, 12/3:

If the Hardys lived in the United States or just about any European country other than Britain, Mr. Hardy would most likely get the drug, although he might have to pay part of the cost. A clinical trial showed that the pill, called Sutent, delays cancer progression for six months at an estimated treatment cost of $54,000.

But at that price, Mr. Hardy’s life is not worth prolonging, according to a British government agency, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. The institute, known as NICE, has decided that Britain, except in rare cases, can afford only £15,000, or about $22,750, to save six months of a citizen’s life.
Yes, there has to be a price on anything. The delusion in America is that the price of a few months of life is unlimited -- part of the reason our healthcare is in such dire straits.

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