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The Observer (17.08.08) ran a front page headline “Health chief attacks drug giants over huge profits.” Sir Michael Rawlins hit out after the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) was accused of ‘barbarism’ for refusing to approve expensive kidney drugs. NICE said the drugs ‘only’ gave the patient an extra few months of life. We wonder if they would be so insouciant if it were their lives on the line?

“We are told we are being mean all the time, but what nobody mentions is why the drugs are so expensive,” Rawlins commented.