HC Deb 10 June 2002 vol 386 c1076W
Ms Walley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure health authorities implement NICE's recommendations on the prescription of anti-TNF for children and adults with severe rheumatoid arthritis. [55271]

Jacqui Smith

On 5 December 2001, we announced that we would meet our commitment to ensure that patients receive drugs and treatments recommended by National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) on the national health service if deemed appropriate by their clinicians. Directions have been issued obliging health authorities and primary care trusts to provide appropriate funding for recommended treatments.

From 1 January 2002, the NHS has three months from the date of publication of each technology appraisal guidance to provide funding, so that clinical decisions made by doctors involving NICE recommended treatments or drugs can be funded.

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