News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

No cash to implement NICE, health authorities tell MPs

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 02 February 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:258
  1. Katherine Burke
  1. London

    The health service is too cash strapped to follow national guidelines on clinical excellence, health authorities told MPs last week.

    Their comments came in the same week that the institute dismissed an appeal by charities and drug companies against its final appraisal determination on interferon beta and glatiramer acetate. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) ruled last year that the use of these drugs for patients with multiple sclerosis was not cost effective but recommended that the Department of Health, the National Assembly for Wales, and the drug manufacturers should consider ways of making the drugs available in a cost effective manner.

    This resulted in the government announcing in November that it would consider funding a “risk sharing” scheme, in which the drugs would be funded only if treatment trials in individual patients showed they were effective (10 November, p 1087).

    A House of Commons inquiry …

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