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FIlm Screening and Panel Discussion: The Price of Life

Join HEHTA (University of Glasgow) for a screening of 'The Price of Life' by Adam Wishart, followed by a panel discussion around HTA decision-making on cystic fibrosis medicines.

FIlm Screening and Panel Discussion: The Price of Life

About FIlm Screening and Panel Discussion: The Price of Life

The Health Economics and Health Technology Assessment (HEHTA) team at the University of Glasgow have arranged an event exploring how decisions are made as to which medicines should be made available on the NHS. We will begin with a screening of a documentary called 'The Price of Life,' which outlines the assessment process for new medicines, focusing on a treatment for multiple myeloma. This will be followed by a panel discussion around recent decisions by the Scottish Medicines Consortium on medicines for cystic fibrosis

The Price of Life
'On a finite budget, the National Health Service can't afford to offer patients every treatment on the market, so how does the nation decide which patients should be the winners – and who should be the losers? NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) is a body that decides which drug treatments the NHS can afford and its judgements have precipitated many bitter battles over the last decade but, for many, the people behind the process remain shrouded in mystery.

Focusing on cancer drug Revlimid, award-winning documentary-maker Adam Wishart follows those who must decide whether to approve the drug and those who will be affected by the outcome. They are: Professor David Barnett, chairman of the NICE appraisals committee, charged with assessing its effectiveness; cancer patients including Julia Gatt and Eric Rutherford, whose lives depend on the decision; Sol Barer, head of the American drug company that discovered Revlimid and profits from it; and NHS manager Sophia Christie, who has to deal with the financial consequences of the committee's decision.

The programme tells the compelling story of the people whose everyday lives are affected by this intricate process. Will Julia and Eric get the drug they need and, if so, will Sophia be forced to make cuts to her budget in other areas? The very human conflicts that arise open up for debate a bigger moral question – how much is life worth, and how much should society pay?'

Panel Discussion
The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion focusing on a more recent example of decision-making by a health technology assessment (HTA) body which attracted controversy, specifically the rejection of medicines for cystic fibrosis e.g Orkambi, by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC). Like the documentary, we aim to capture the perspectives of different stakeholders.

The panel will consist of:
-Jeane Freeman, Scottish Health Minister during the assessment period of these drugs by SMC
-Thomas Ferguson, a person living with CF involved in campaigning for access to CF drugs in Scotland
-Marion Ferguson, campaigner for access to CF drugs in Scotland
-Prof. Gordon MacGregor, consultant in respiratory medicine specialising in CF
-Prof. Olivia Wu, Director of HEHTA

The panel will be moderated by Prof. Emma McIntosh, Deputy Director of HEHTA.

The aim of this community engagement event is to demystify the assessment processes for new medicines undertaken by health technology assessment bodies such as NICE and SMC and to give an insight into some of the challenges of this decision-making.

To register for the event, please visit the EventBrite page: www.eventbrite.co.uk

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