This is yet another example of the mess that is BBC News coverage where we are. The story of this new drug featured heavily on Radio Four this morning: all and only however about its availability in England and Wales, and about the good deal on price achieved by NHS England.
But on the BBC News website’s Health section we have this today: ‘Life-saving cholesterol jab recommended on NHS’ by Michelle Roberts. On the introduction of this drug it acknowledges: “It will bring England and Wales in line with guidance for Scotland.” No such perspective – and no such useful information – on Radio Four earlier!
From Health Improvement Scotland/Scottish Medicines Consortium we have this:
‘The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC), which advises on newly licensed medicines for use by NHSScotland, has today (Monday 9 August) published advice accepting six new medicines.’
And specifically for that same date: ‘The committee also accepted inclisiran (Leqvio) to lower cholesterol levels in patients at high cardiovascular risk in whom standard drug therapy has not lowered cholesterol levels adequately. Inclisiran is administered by six monthly injections and may provide a convenient option for some patients to manage their condition.’
If the introduction of this drug is so newsworthy for the ‘big’ BBC for being introduced to England and Wales why was it not newsworthy weeks ago when first approved in Scotland? Did BBC Scotland miss this? Can anyone recall coverage?
And now it’s big news in England and Wales, will BBC Scotland catch up and inform viewers/listeners in Scotland about it – in the public interest? Has anything appeared from BBC Scotland today? Or would that be just far too positive?
And why did Radio Four’s coverage not inform listeners in Scotland that they already have access to this important new drug? Do we – and the citizens of NI – not merit such information even when it is clearly known within the BBC?
This drugs story is but another and not the most egregious example of what we face from the BBC. BBC Scotland’s relentless negativity on matters in Scotland, its bias by omission, and its and the wider BBC’s failure consistently to provide perspective and due attribution makes for a powerful combination, the antithesis of proper public service broadcasting for Scotland.