Intended for healthcare professionals


Access to some NICE approved drugs varies hugely across England

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 22 January 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g465
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

A “postcode lottery” still exists in access to the latest drugs in England, show figures in a report by the NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre.

For the first time the centre’s annual analysis of actual versus expected use of drugs recently approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) also looked at use by local area.1 It found wide variation, including a 28-fold difference in use of the newer anticoagulants rivaroxaban and dabigatran for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation and a more than nine-fold variation in use of denosumab for osteoporosis.

The analysis looked at the actual versus expected use in England of 18 drugs in 10 categories. It found lower than expected …

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