HC Deb 22 December 1997 vol 303 c537W
Mr. Webb

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what mechanisms he proposes to ensure that expensive drugs of proven clinical value are available on the basis of clinical need. [21928]

Mr. Milburn

The White Paper, "The New NHS", sets out the Government's plans for the National Health Service. National Service Frameworks and clinical guidelines will be developed with the profession, and will challenge and address variations not based on the health needs and wishes of local people.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence announced in the White Paper will develop and disseminate clinical guidelines based on relevant evidence of clinical and cost-effectiveness.

It will be for individual clinicians to judge what is the best treatment for particular patients. This will provide national consistency, while still allowing appropriate local and individual responsiveness.