Doctors in Britain urged to practise effectively

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 20 January 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:143

Doctors in Britain were urged last week to stop providing ineffective treatment and to base their practice on scientific evidence. Speaking at the launch of Promoting Clinical Effectiveness, a document that sets out the framework for practising evidence based medicine, the secretary of state for health, Stephen Dorrell, said that the NHS must offer the best value treatment from the resources available. “Clinical effectiveness is not a mechanism for always finding the cheapest treatment,” he said.

In the NHS it is already the responsibility of the central research and development committee to identify areas where information on clinical and cost effectiveness is needed. The single largest programme is Health Technology Assessment, where systematic reviews and …

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