The medicines watchdog, NICE, is to lose its power to turn down new medicines for use on the NHS. 

  By Helen Briggs Health reporter, BBC News, September 27, 2011

 
   
   

Changes are planned to the way drugs are funded. The medicines watchdog, NICE, is to lose its power to turn down new medicines for use on the NHS. It will give advice on which drugs are effective, but will not decide whether patients should be given treatments their doctor recommends, the Department of Health has confirmed. Instead, groups of GPs will decide whether a drug should be funded or not.
 
 
   

Ministers hope to make new drugs affordable to the NHS by negotiating with pharmaceutical companies on price. The plans, called value-based pricing, are set to come into effect in 2014. They are subject to consultation.
 
   

A Department of Health spokesperson said: “We will introduce a new system of value-based pricing which will make effective treatments affordable to the NHS.

“Our plans will ensure licensed and effective drugs are available to NHS clinicians and patients.”

We will focus NICE’s role on what matters most – advising clinicians on effective treatments and quality standards – rather than making decisions on whether patients should access drugs that their doctors want to prescribe.”

 
 

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s (NICE’s ) guidance on recommended drugs applies to England and Wales, and also usually Northern Ireland.

 

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