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Innovative drug pilot unveiled


A pilot scheme aimed at providing patients with innovative new drugs that are not currently available on the NHS has been launched for consultation.

Health Minister Mike O’Brien and Science and Innovation Minister Lord Drayson will review the “Innovation Pass” pilot which aims to open up the availability of new treatments for patients with rarer diseases that have not yet been appraised by NICE.

The small number of patients requiring the drugs means that NICE is unable to conduct a full assessment for their use on the NHS, however, trials under the “Innovation Pass” will provide valuable data on their impact  and cost effectiveness which will then be used for future appraisals.

NICE chief executive Andrew Dillon said: “We recognise that for a small number of very promising new treatments, the evidence available may not reveal their full potential benefits for patients. “Where there is a high risk that a NICE appraisal of a new treatment at the point of its first use in the NHS might underestimate its benefits, providing the opportunity to gather more evidence and making the treatment available before undertaking an appraisal is the right thing to do.”

Copyright Press Association 2009

Office for Life Sciences

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