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What is your verdict on NICE?

Dr Bill Beeby chair of the GPC clinical and prescribing subcommittee

‘NICE is always going to be political and it is inevitable that when a body like NICE makes decisions they are going to be controversial.

ut is it equipped to extend its remit? At the moment it has its work cut out to deliver the remit it already has – the timescales for its deliberations are very long. It has a huge work plan already and I wonder where the new things are going to.'

Dr Clarissa Fabre a GPC member and GP in Uckfield, East Sussex

‘It has a very difficult job, and has recently made some very unpopular decisions. One of the renal cancer drugs is available everywhere else in Europe.

'We're not a third-world country, and should be up there with the best. The process of how it comes to its decisions may need looking at again. It does consult with the public, which may not always be the most objective.'

Dr Tom Frewin a GP in Bristol

‘In principle, NICE is a very sensible idea. But to not offer some of the cancer drugs, which aren't for a large number of people, is unacceptable.

'To my mind, it is losing credibility with the public, as being just another way for the Government to save money.'

Dr Peter Stott a GP in Tadworth, Surrey, and a GPSI in diabetes

‘I am very supportive of NICE on the whole as it is caught between a rock and a hard place.

'Most of its guidelines are very sensible but the ones that end up in the news seem to be the ones where there is a very vocal pressure group or something which has a particular angle, with the cancer drugs and things like that.'

Dr Andrew Mimnagh a GP in Sefton, Lancashire, and chair of Sefton LMC

‘Of late, most of what it is coming out with I can subscribe to as balanced and well-considered. It does look, by and large, like common sense. But it does seem to take an inordinate amount of time.'

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