NICE gives backing to extra heart failure checks

NICE issued a raft of new guidance last week, including advice on B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) tests for heart failure and aspirin in pregnant women at risk of pre-eclampsia.

NICE: raft of new guidance (Photograph: Jason Heath Lancy)
NICE: raft of new guidance (Photograph: Jason Heath Lancy)

NICE recommends that GPs measure serum BNP or N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide in patients with suspected heart failure without previous MI.

It also suggests that GPs advise pregnant women with a moderate to high risk of developing pre-eclampsia to take 75mg of aspirin a day from the twelfth week of pregnancy until birth.

NICE issued advice last week on assessment of transient loss of consciousness, ablative therapy for Barrett's oesophagus and on a range of drug treatments, including dronedarone for AF, which it approved for limited use, having previously rejected.

It also issued updated guidance on: etanercept, infliximab and adalimumab for psoriatic arthritis; tocilizumab for rheumatoid arthritis; and treatment for rheumatoid arthritis after the failure of a TNF inhibitor.

From November, details of the level of uptake of NICE-approved drugs by all PCTs, SHAs and cancer networks will be published.

NICE's report has set out to compare the level of uptake of medicines with the institute's estimate of the level of uptake it would expect for each organisation.

In addition, NICE has also opened a forum for suggestions for new indicators for the 2013/14 QOF. Proposals can be logged on the NICE website ( until 20 September.

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