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Orphan Drugs

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 32036, tabled on 19 March 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he made of the effect of the (a) introduction of the ultra-orphan pathway by the Scottish Medicines Consortium and (b) additional factors and modifiers for orphan medicines and medicines that have evidence of achieving a substantial improvement in life expectancy and/or quality of life considered by the Scottish Medicines Consortium in relation to informing methods and processes at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

Answered on

27 April 2020

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is responsible for the review of the methods it uses in the development of its technology appraisal and highly specialised technology recommendations in England. NICE has advised that additional factors and modifiers that may affect NICE’s decisions, including factors relevant to orphan medicines and medicines that substantially improve health and/or life expectancy, are being considered within its methods review. This review will give consideration to approaches in other health technology assessment bodies, including the devolved administrations.