October 1, 2023

  1. John Illman
  1. London, UK
  1. johnatjicmedia.org

In October 1999, Richard Sykes, chair of Glaxo Wellcome, stormed into 10 Downing Road, reportedly “incandescent.” The Nationwide Institute for Scientific Excellence (NICE), a brand new, largely unknown physique, had really helpful that the NHS in England and Wales shouldn’t prescribe Relenza (zanamivir), Glaxo’s new influenza therapy.

Costing £24 for a 5 day course, it appeared to scale back severity of signs from six to 5 days. Ruling that it was not value efficient, NICE calculated that in an epidemic yr it may cost the NHS as much as £100m.


Sykes threatened that if the “ludicrous” choice was not reversed, Glaxo Wellcome, then Britain’s greatest pharma firm, would think about leaving the UK. However, briefed by Well being Secretary Frank Dobson, Prime Minister Tony Blair refused to overturn the choice.

The founding NICE chair, Michael Rawlins, stated that this was “exactly the kind of downside that we had been set as much as type out.” His revolutionary function was to make him one of the controversial figures in drugs—and a world chief in well being and social care steerage and drugs analysis. His brainchild now has a employees of 680 workers.

Gillian Leng, former NICE chief government (2020-22), stated, “Mike Rawlins was an exquisite human being who mixed heat and humanity with a razor sharp mind. He had imaginative and prescient, drive, and a ardour to enhance healthcare, all the time with sufferers on the centre. He leaves a …