Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

NICE must reform to fast-track drugs to NHS, say Conservatives

  • Comment
The Conservative party has announced plans to speed up the process that approves drugs for use on the NHS.

Under proposals launched at the weekend by shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) would be retained.

But Mr Lansley wants access to new drugs within three to six months, rather than the current average waiting time of 18 months.

He argued that the system of ministerial referral for new drugs be removed, and allowing NICE to begin its assessment as the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency begins phase three trials.

A new system of value-based drug pricing should be introduced and NICE should take into the account the wider social cost of denying a drug to patients when assessing its value or benefit.

Other proposals include shifting the burden of proof as to the effectiveness of new drugs from NICE to the manufacturer, with drugs companies having to prove the drug works rather than NICE proving it does not.

Mr Lansley said: ‘Too often the NHS treats NICE as an excuse for delay. We have to move to a system where NICE facilitates access to the best care at the earliest possible time.’

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.