Companies looking for clarity on whether their drugs meet the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's patient population criteria for end-of-life treatment won't find it by looking at decisions made so far by the U.K. body. What they will find is that it's still all about price.

The end-of-life criteria were intended to allow NICE appraisal committees to recommend NHS coverage of some drugs for "small" populations of terminally ill patients even if the treatments normally would be considered too expensive.