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NICE guidance could improve access to life-extending drugs on the NHS

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New guidance from NICE, the government’s medicines regulator, could mean patients have greater access to life-extending drugs on the NHS.

The guidance has been issued by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) to its appraisal committees.

Normally, NICE will not approve treatments costing the NHS more than £30,000 for each extra year of life gained by patients.

The new guidance applies to patients with a life expectancy of less than 24 months, who could have a treatment that will extend their life by three months.

Committees can now approve treatments costing the NHS more than £30,000 per quality-adjusted patient year (QALY) if they feel evidence is strong enough that they will extend life.

The recommendation follows a consultation that ended last year and comes into effect today (5 January).

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