NICE launches new medicine information service for NHS and patients

Hannah Blake


The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has launched a new service, entitled Evidence summaries: new medicines, to provide high quality information and support for delivering quality, safety and efficiency in the use of medicines, to the NHS and patients in England.

Aimed at commissioners, budget holders and groups such as Area Prescribing Committees, the new advisory service does not constitute formal NICE guidance, but is designed to support the managed introduction of selected new medicines or new indications for existing medicines not covered by NICE’s Technology Appraisal programme.

“Our Evidence summaries for new medicines take the process a step beyond the regulatory requirements needed for a new drug to be able to be prescribed. So as well as considering the strengths and limitations of the available evidence of the drug’s safety and efficacy, they also consider the context of the new drug in terms of what other treatments are available for the condition and their cost, as well as the likely place of the new drug in local prescribing and its estimated cost impact for the NHS. The NHS Constitution gives patients the right to expect that decisions about the funding of medicines and treatments will be made rationally following a proper consideration of the evidence. Where there is no technology appraisal from NICE, these summaries help to ensure consistent access to evidence for decision-makers.”

Professor Mark Baker, Director of the Centre for Clinical Practice at NICE.

NICE expects to publish advice on around 20 new medicines a year. The first topic to be covered by NICE is on Fidaxomicin (Dificlir), for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). Further topics will be considered either at the point of product launch, or up to a year in advance of launch.


Related news:

UK’s NICE launches new medicines advisory service (The Pharma Letter)

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