Warning: This post was published more than 9 years ago.
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You may have noticed that Dawn Primarolo, Health Minister, has asked for a report into the ‘unacceptable’ and ‘unethical’ situation whereby recovering drug addicts are given extra doses of methadone or shopping vouchers in return for clean drugs tests.
Perhaps she should start by investigating the advice endorsed by her own Government, and published by the Government-established NICE three months ago. If she does, she’ll come across this:
Principles of Contingency Management
- Offer incentives contingent on each drug-negative test, usually either:
- vouchers that can be exchanged for goods or services of the service user’s choice, or
- privileges, such as take-home methadone doses.
- The value of vouchers should start in the region of £2 and increase with each additional, continuous period of abstinence.
You see, that’s one of the many problems with evidence-based medicine – it doesn’t necessarily fit in with the Daily Mail‘s ‘druggies are scum’ agenda. Sometimes, the most effective thing to do isn’t the most popular.
But presumably, since NICE advice is now officially unethical, the government will now be performing a spectacular U-turn on all NICE guidance, and issuing drugs regardless of ‘cost-effectiveness’ – and the dementia patients who so vigorously campaign for drugs (in a way that fits in with the tabloid agenda) will now be granted all they want, as the government will no longer be able to hide behind NICE Guidelines.