Improving access to NICE approved drugs

NICE is to produce a best practice guide to help trusts develop local formularies, as part of a move to ensure that all patients in England have access to clinically and cost-effective drugs.

Local formularies provide a list of selected or preferred drugs available to local prescribers and have an important role in underpinning safe and effective use of medicines.

However, there is currently no standard process or advice for putting together a local formulary which has led to variations across the country.

A recent report into innovation in healthcare by the Department of Health has highlighted that not all local formularies are including all of NICE’s technology appraisals. This can lead to a postcode lottery where patients miss out on drugs approved by NICE.

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