Mark Durkan – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Mark Durkan on 2016-06-13.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the effect of the time taken for NICE appraisal processes for the provision of Nivolumab on the treatment of NHS patients with non-small cell lung cancer; and if he will make a statement.

George Freeman

No such assessment has been made.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently carrying out technology appraisals of nivolumab for two lung cancer indications:

(i) Previously treated locally advanced or metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer. The expected publication date for this final guidance is September 2016.

(ii) Previously treated locally advanced or metastatic squamous non-small-cell lung cancer after prior chemotherapy in adults. The publication date for this final guidance is to be confirmed.

Commissioners are legally required to fund drugs and treatments recommended in NICE technology appraisal guidance within three months of its final guidance being issued. In the absence of guidance from NICE, it is for commissioners to make decisions on whether to fund new medicines based on an assessment of the available evidence.

From July 2016, the new arrangements for the Cancer Drugs Fund will ensure that the most promising and innovative medicines get to patients as quickly as possible. In particular, NICE will issue draft guidance on new cancer drugs or significant new licence indications before they have received marketing approval in the United Kingdom. Any drug that receives a positive draft recommendation would then be funded from the point of licence.