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Medical Treatments

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 185849, tabled on 22 April 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the changes needed in (a) NICE, (b) NHS England and NHS Improvement health technology approval processes and (c) NHS England’s commercial policy to improve access to and uptake of new medicines and vaccines; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

29 April 2021

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the independent body responsible for developing authoritative, evidence-based recommendations for the NHS on whether new medicines represent a clinically and cost-effective use of resources. The NHS in England is legally required to fund medicines recommended through a NICE appraisal. As NICE is an independent body, it is responsible for the methods and processes it uses in the assessment of health technologies.

New commercial flexibilities and support structures have been introduced to support access and uptake of transformative medicines, including the publication of NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Commercial Framework which sets out the new commercial flexibilities available to the most clinically and cost-effective new treatments. Drawing on these commercial flexibilities, a host of innovative commercial deals have been agreed with NHS England and NHS Improvement and NICE in recent years, providing United Kingdom patients with access to the best value new treatments.