§ Tim Loughton
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance has been issued to PCTs about prescribing drug eluting stents for the management of coronary heart disease; and what assessment he has made of the benefits of drug eluting stents for the management of coronary heart disease. 
§ Ms Blears
Primary care trusts, as local commissioners of services, decide in consultation with local acute trusts and clinicians what services and treatment to provide for their local population. Drug eluting stents were referred to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence on 20 May 2002 for technology appraisal. Guidance on this device and its deployment is expected to be published in August this year. During this interim period, the national health service has standing guidance that it should make local decisions about whether to fund a particular intervention on the basis of the available published information.