Some drugs will be fast-tracked for NICE appraisal under new measures announced today by Health Minister Lord Darzi.
The measures announced by NICE and Lord Darzi include: a consultation on a new and faster system for referring drugs to NICE for appraisal, an additional new appraisal committee, increased investment in "horizon scanning" to ensure that new drugs are identified early on for appraisal and a guidance document for the NHS - detailing good practice on how decisions on new drugs should be made by Primary Care Trusts where there is no existing NICE guidance.
This will be supported by a programme of training and support to assist the NHS to implement the guidance.
Announcing the package of measures, Health Minister, Lord Darzi, said: "Last year in High Quality Care for All I set out our commitment to speed up the NICE process.
“Together, the measures set out today build on this commitment and will help provide faster and fairer access to new drugs and treatments - great news for patients.
“We are delighted to be working in partnership with NICE to ensure that new drugs and treatments are assessed sooner and more quickly in future, leading to improved and higher quality care for patients. The guidance for PCTs will help the NHS to ensure that local decisions are robust and transparent, leading to more consistency in those exceptional cases where there is no existing NICE guidance."
The consultation on the proposed changes to the NICE topic selection will run for 3 months whilst the guidance to PCTs will be issued to the NHS with immediate effect.
Chief Executive of NICE, Andrew Dillon, said: "This is an important consultation on the way that topics are chosen and referred for NICE's world-leading appraisals of new drugs and treatments. We are very keen to ensure that our guidance is produced as quickly as possible to benefit patients and the NHS.”