NICE Could 'Lose Most of Its Authority' Under New NHS Plan

Posted 21 May 2012 | By Alexander Gaffney, RAC 

Under a new plan put forth by the Secretary of the UK's National Health Service (NHS), Andrew Lansley, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) would no longer direct NHS's prescribing habits, reports InPharm.

"Speaking at the NICE conference, Lansley said NICE's cost effectiveness role would be replaced by the new Value-Based Pricing (VBP) system on 1 January 2014," wrote InPharm. "NICE will still examine the cost effectiveness of drugs, but would 'no longer be obliged to make a yes/no decision.'"

Lansley's remarks open up the possibility of NICE, currently the arbiter of which medicines represent a good value for UK purchasing groups, playing a vastly diminished role in the UK health system in the near future.

InPharm explains the proposal would see NICE "lost most of its authority," but also notes the decision to strip NICE of its prescribing authority has been made-and overturned-before by Lansley. The original plan was overturned after attracting significant criticism from UK stakeholders.

The question most likely to drive debate going forward revolves around what might replace NICE, and whether the new model is better for patients, taxpayers or other stakeholders, concludes InPharm.

Read more:

InPharm - NICE to be sidelined on cost effectiveness - once again

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