CCGs must help remove NICE-backed drugs from blacklists

Clinical commissioners should start working with PCT pharmacy leads to help remove any medicines recommended by NICE from local treatment blacklists, the DH has said.

Mr Lansley: NHS trusts will be forced to make NICE-approved drugs available through the introduction of an 'effective compliance regime'.
Mr Lansley: NHS trusts will be forced to make NICE-approved drugs available through the introduction of an 'effective compliance regime'.

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.

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and PCTs should also look at how to cut the cost of maintaining local formularies that list drugs not recommended for use by local prescribers, Dr Ridge said.

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.

Following GP's investigation, health secretary Andrew Lansley said that NHS trusts would be forced to make NICE-approved drugs available through the introduction of an 'effective compliance regime'.

Earlier this month, NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson wrote to SHA and PCT cluster chief executives setting out how they should remove drugs backed by NICE from local blacklists.

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.’

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