NICE Medicines Guidance
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence NICE advises the National Health Service (NHS) regarding treatments that should be made available. NICE issues this advice in several forms.
The most well known of these are public health guidance that aims to prevent ill health, clinical guidelines which cover the treatment of individual conditions, and technology appraisals that describe the place in treatment of individual medicines or medical procedures.
Whittington Health has a responsibility to ensure that treatments recommended by NICE are made available to patients. It must also ensure any treatments that NICE recommend should not be used, are not used.
Under the NHS Constitution, patients have the right to receive medicines and treatments that are recommended in NICE technology appraisals if their doctor thinks that these treatments are right for them. When NICE recommends a treatment, the trust must make it available within 3 months of that recommendation.
In a letter from the NHS chief executive Innovation, Health and Wealth, publication of NHS formularies (2012), the Department of Health has stated that all NHS Organisations should publish information which sets out which NICE technology appraisals are included in their local formularies by April 1st 2013.
In Whittington Health, the Drug and Therapeutics Committee discusses new NICE medicines related technology appraisals and decides if they are relevant to the services that the trust provides. Where it has been agreed that medicines having a positive technology appraisals are relevant to the services we are responsible for providing, they are in included in the Whittington Health drug formulary. All recommended medicines have been made available for doctors to prescribe. The availability of these NICE-approved medicines is indicated in the list, which is published on the Whittington Health website. In addition to this list, the Whittington Health formulary is also available on its website.
The Whittington Health Drug & Therapeutics Committee and the North Central London Joint Formulary Committee are also responsible for deciding whether medicines that have not been assessed by NICE should be made available.