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Medical Treatments

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 59819, tabled on 20 October 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the evidential basis for a change in the discount rate to 1.5 per cent, including the advice in HM Treasury's The Green Book in 2020; and whether he has received representations in support of that change.

Answered on

27 October 2021

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently reviewing the methods and processes in its health technology assessments, including the discount rate applied to costs and benefits. NICE has recently consulted publicly on proposals for changes to its methods and processes and is considering the responses received. NICE’s consultation stated that there is an evidence base for changing the discount rate to 1.5% but acknowledged the wider policy and fiscal implications and proposed to maintain the existing reference case discount rate while further data is collected on the likely effects.

NICE also proposed to maintain a non-reference case discount rate of 1.5% for use in exceptional circumstances. The Department supports NICE’s proposal which is in line with the expectations for the review as set out in the Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access 2019 agreed with industry. The Department has received representations from industry and other stakeholders supporting a reduced discount rate.