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NHS to fund new specialised treatments

Some 3,000 patients with HIV, genetic conditions and skin disorders will benefit

Mark Gould

Monday, 18 December 2017

NHS England has approved funding for new treatments and services including a treatment for HIV, a new specialised service for adults with primary ciliary dyskinesia, a genetic disorder affecting the respiratory system, and a new specialised service for Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a serious disorder of the skin.

Officials say funding for the new treatments and services will begin from April and will benefit an estimated 3,000 patients in the first year and thousands more annually after that.

All the proposed new treatments were independently assessed for their clinical benefit and cost by the Clinical Priorities Advisory Group (CPAG) made up of doctors, health experts and patient representatives.

The prioritisation process for new investment decisions has now moved from an annual cycle to twice a year, in order to speed up the introduction of important new evidence-based treatments and services for patients. Today’s announcement represents the first set of decisions for investment in 2018/19 with a second set of prioritisation decisions to be taken next May.

Further treatments from this list, and other areas, will be considered in May, and if successful could be introduced by June.

Treatments are grouped into five levels of priority, with those that cost less and offer more clinical benefit for patients classified as level one, and treatments with the lowest clinical benefit and highest cost placed in the lowest category (level five). Level one funding has been approved for treatment of patients with Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis.

Level two funding will apply to immediate antiretroviral therapy for treatment of HIV-1 in adults and adolescents.

NHS England says it is approving treatments in levels one and two and the new service proposal in level three for adults with the genetic condition, primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD)

The remaining two treatments in level three, bendamustine with rituximab for first-line treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and bendamustine with rituximab for first-line treatment of mantle cell lymphoma, will continue to remain available to NHS patients via the Cancer Drugs Fund.

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