Monday, December 10, 2001
The U.K. government has decided to make recommendations by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) binding on the National Health System (NHS). Treatments and drugs formally recommended by NICE in a so-called Technology Appraisal Guidance will have to be implemented by the NHS within three months, and beginning next year the health service will have to provide funding within that timeframe.
The government's aim is to ensure that clinical decisions made by doctors and involving NICE-recommended treatments will be funded by the NHS. This year, NICE has recommended treatments that NHS has determined will cost more than £250 million ($356 million), including new drugs and interventions to treat heart disease and a number of cancers.