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Monday 25th June 2018

GP commissioners can 'overrule' NICE

21st September 2010

A government MP has said that GP commissioners could have the authority to issue prescriptions to patients for medication not approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).


David Willetts, Science Minister, gave a talk at the British Science Festival in Birmingham. 

He said that doctors would be under pressure to provide medication for which there was "very strong demand" even if it had not been approved by NICE.

He explained that GPs would be able to "overrule" NICE and prescribe treatments that had not been appraised by the organisation.

Mr Willetts said "there will be greater power and responsibility with groups of GPs in our decentralised model. NICE will, of course, continue to offer advice but ultimately GPs will have scope for responding to what their patients are demanding".

He added that GPs would be able to issue prescriptions for treatments such as homeopathy even if they were not sanctioned by NICE.

"If GPs do detect very strong patient demand, they will be able to respond to that. Under our new role, there will be greater scope for GPs to respond to patient demand," he said.

He added that doctors should consider the needs of their patients and act in a friendly way, balancing their requirements alongside scientific proof.


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