HC Deb 25 October 2001 vol 373 c342W
Siobhain McDonagh

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps the Government are taking to speed up the assessment periods for Herceptin; and if he will make a statement; [7078]

(2) what the Government's policy is on the priority to be given to clinical assessment of Herceptin; and what assessment he has made of the reasons for the time taken for the clinical assessment of (a) Herceptin and (b) Viagra. [7079]

Ms Blears

The assessment report for the appraisal on Herceptin was extended following consultation in order to consider additional clinical data. While it is regrettable that the National Institute for Clinical Excellence's guidance should be delayed, it is in the interests of all concerned that NICE's authoritative guidance should be soundly based and fair.

NICE's appraisal committee will meet again on 25 October 2001 and, if there are no appeals, guidance is expected in December 2001.

Viagra has not been referred to NICE for appraisal as regulations regarding the availability of Viagra and other specified drug treatments for impotence have been in place since July 1999.

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