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Friday 25th May 2018

Quicker drug decisions urged

10th January 2008

MPs have called for a more streamlined system of assessing treatments for the NHS in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.


The Commons health committee is urging the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to adopt what it described as a “rough and ready? approach, similar to Scotland.

The committee said that if an in-depth review of new drugs and technologies was needed, that could be done at a later stage.

The committee made comparisons between the system in Scotland, which is overseen by the Scottish Medicines Consortium, and that in the rest of the UK which comes under NICE guidance.

The Scottish system carries out more simple appraisals with decisions made within a few months while the fastest NICE appraisals take nine months to a year.

MPs also questioned the method used by NICE to assess treatments and also called on it to carry out appraisals on all new treatments and not just focus most of its attention on the more expensive drugs.

Health Committee chairman Kevin Barron said NICE had a vital role to play in the future with the prospect of expensive new treatments coming on to the market at a time when the rises in the NHS budget were falling.

But he added: “We have concerns about how NICE does its job. No healthcare system can deliver everything, but more cost effective treatment means more treatment.?

The Department of Health and NICE has said that they will consider the report and NICE chief executive Andrew Dillon described the criticisms as constructive.


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