The chief pharmaceutical officer for England, Dr Keith Ridge, has written to all pharmacy and prescribing leads of PCTs and acute and mental health trusts about the issue.
GP revealed last year that one in four PCTs were blacklisting drugs recommended by NICE. Drugs on the lists were listed as 'not recommended for use' or 'not prescribable' because they were deemed too expensive or not effective enough.
Dr Ridge said he had been asked to lead a ‘short-life working group’ to oversee work on removing any medicines recommended by NICE from local treatment blacklists.
In his letter, Dr Ridge told pharmacy and prescribing leads to review local formulary processes to begin work on removing drugs recommended by NICE from local blacklists.
He said: ‘I would suggest you do this in collaboration with emerging CCGs, and between you decide how best to take this forward in a way that not only supports the IHW action, but considers local clinical and patient needs, how best to reduce inappropriate variation, how best to optimise medicines use, and whether there is scope to decrease any administrative burdens of formulary maintenance.’