The NICE experience
The meeting was well chaired by Professor Bruce Campbell who obviously was used to the routine, he repeatedly enquired as to whether anyone had any conflicts interests or whether there were disability concerns that needed to be taken into consideration. From the early discussions it became clear that the remit of this committee was very much focused on the clinical application of the techniques they were examining. It was stated by Dr McComb that financial considerations were not part of [their] remit. Whilst reviewing an earlier case (TAVI) they evaluated the usefulness of the procedure being discussed in terms of improving quality of life even if it was just for a short time and also whether it might be useful for a small group of patients not able to receive other forms of surgical treatment. This certainly gave us some hope that they might look at CCSVI treatment in great detail. It also became clear that decisions were not made at one sitting and that further meetings may be needed to clarify a situation. There may opportunities for our involvement may present themselves in the future.
It was out of curiosity and interest in the process rather than any expectation of a recommendation of NHS treatment, that Kevin and I went to this meeting which was to evaluate the validity of CCSVI treatment in people with MS. As you will know from our previous communications we believe that Venous Insufficiency should be treated whether someone has MS or not. It is a common place and safe procedure which is carried out daily in our local hospitals.
There were some 25 people sitting around a table most of them doctors with an expertise in cardio/vascular problems, but there was also a GP, some administrators and a couple of lay people representing the public and a person looking after the interests of the disabled.
Midcity Place - London