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Prescription Drugs

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 1365, tabled on 14 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 19 April 2021 to Question 179363, what steps his Department is taking to expedite guidance on medicines that have taken longer than the 90 days to receive final guidance from NICE; and whether his Department has plans to prioritise appraisals of medicines for clinically extremely vulnerable groups.

Answered on

21 May 2021

The 2019 Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access commits the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to publishing recommendations on all newly licensed treatments within 90 days of marketing authorisation wherever possible.

NICE may not always be able to meet this timescale for individual topics for a range of reasons, including where companies request a longer appraisal timescale. In addition, during the COVID-19 pandemic, NICE adapted its priorities to support the health and care system at a time of unprecedented pressure. This involved pausing the publication of topics that were not COVID-19 related or regarded as therapeutically critical during the period of March to June 2020.