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NICE stripped of power to ban drugs

1st November 2010

The government has said it is intending to transfer the decision about which drugs should be provided by the NHS from NICE to GPs.


The role of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence will be to offer advice about medication and the final call about which drugs are given to patients will be taken by GPs.

The Department of Health said that the change in decision-making would also see moves toward "value-based" costing for drugs.

Reports suggested that the Quality-Adjusted Life Year Threshold used by NICE (which is capped at around £30,000 per year) would be scrapped by 2014.

The changes come after Health Secretary Andrew Lansley told the National Association of Primary Care conference in October that GPs were best placed to decide if their patients required certain types of drugs.

This announcement has led to warnings that GPs might become health service "scapegoats" in the next few years.

Mr Lansley said the changes would aid the health service keep track of progress in medical technology and would cut costs.

"We will move to an NHS where patients will be confident that where their clinicians believe a particular drug is the right and most effective one for them, then the NHS will be able to provide it for them," he said.

NICE said they were in favour of the changes. Chief executive Andrew Dillon said: "We support moves to extend access to new treatments at prices which reflect the additional value to patients."


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Article Information

Title: NICE stripped of power to ban drugs
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 16565
Date Added: 1st Nov 2010



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