Uptake of NICE-backed drugs to be accelerated in Northern Ireland

Uptake of NICE-approved in Northern Ireland is to be accelerated by a new process introduced by Health minister Edwin Poots.

Mr Poots announced a ‘new, revised process to speed up the applicability of NICE-approved drugs in Northern Ireland’.

Under the new system, local reviews of the applicability of NICE’s technology appraisals will be completed within four weeks of their publication by NICE. In addition, most clinical guidelines will be reviewed within eight weeks of publication, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety said.

Resources will be reorganisd to support the new process and so it will not be associated with any additional costs.

Health and social care boards will be required to report each year on their progress towards commissioning services in accordance with Departmentally-endorsed NICE guidance.

In addition, the Guidelines and Audit Implementation Network and the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority will each review the implementation of a small number of Technology Appraisals and Clinical Guidelines each year.

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