NICE to get choice back!29th October 2009
Clinicians and Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) have regained freedom of choice over products to treat mild to moderate depression, thanks to new guidelines issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
The revised guidance for computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (cCBT) interventions for the treatment of adults with depression ends a three-year monopoly in the NHS whereby Primary Care Trusts in England and Wales had no choice but to use a single recommended supplier.
The new recommendations indicate that other products and approaches may be just as effective, may incur lower intervention costs and will enable Mental Health Commissioners to choose from a range of cCBT solutions that meet local and patient requirements and choice.
Says Stephen Taylor-Parker, whose company, Media Innovations, was among those who had been prevented from operating in the market with its online cCBT product Living Life to the Full Interactive:
“Our business was seriously disadvantaged by the original NICE guidance which effectively closed the NHS market to us in England and Wales, despite having a product which was equivalent to - and in many respect functionally superior to the recommended product.
“Today’s revised guidance removes this unhealthy monopoly and returns freedom of product choice to Mental Health commissioners in the NHS, which will ultimately benefit patients. We’re already negotiating with central purchasing groups within the NHS to agree bulk discounts which will rapidly increase access to these approaches.”
Living Life to the Full interactive (www.llttfi.com) has been developed over 10 years in partnership with Professor Chris Williams, Professor of Psychosocial Psychiatry and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at the University of Glasgow. A number of self-help packages addressing depression, bulimia and anorexia have been produced and whilst the Depression product could not be delivered in England and Wales as a result of the earlier NICE guidance significant sales have made in Scotland, the United States and Canada.
The Living Life to the Full range offers a wide range of resources including cCBT, DVD and book based interventions to support people at low cost.
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