freephone 0800 862 0373
Sign in to view your quotes
Email address:
Password or PIN:

Forgotten your password? Reset it here.

NHS patients wait for new drugs as NICE misses approval targets

Published on 16/05/2012

NHS patients are waiting more than five years to receive new medicines because the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is missing its approval deadlines, according to a new study.

Most drugs that prove successful in clinical trials are awarded a European license and marketed for private use in the UK. This means that patients can access them by paying out-of-pocket, or by claiming on their health insurance policy. NICE then has to approve the drug before it is made available on the NHS.

But a study by the Office for Health Economics found that it takes five years on average for a drug to be approved by NICE from when a manufacturer obtains a license.

The researchers looked at all drugs approved by NICE since 2000, nearly 300 treatments for conditions like cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and heart problems.

NICE’s approval process divides drugs into two categories- those to be used on their own go through Single Technology Appraisal (STA), and treatments to be taken alongside other drugs undergo Multiple Technology Appraisal (MTA).

According to the report, NICE missed its 301-day approval target for individual medicines in 77% of cases in the past decade. NICE also breached a 420-day target for multiple drugs in 81% of its appraisals. Appeals and legal challenges outside of NICE's control added to the delays.

The study, obtained by GP Magazine, highlighted that the figures need to be ‘interpreted with care’, because some of the drugs analysed were launched before NICE was established. But they found no evidence the NICE’s process had sped up over time.

A NICE spokesman said: “We don’t recognise most of the conclusions reached by the Office for Health Economics report.” She said the time from licensing to first draft guidance had 'decreased dramatically' and was now four months.

If a cancer drug is licensed by the European Medicines Agency and is clinically appropriate for the patient, health insurers will often fund it regardless of cost. If you want to be covered for licensed drugs and treatments then look for a private medical insurance policy with full cancer cover.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  MedicalNHS and Hospitals
NHS patients wait for new drugs as NICE misses approval targetsNHS patients are waiting more than five years to receive new medicines because the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NI    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

No.1 health insurance broker as rated by customers

Good value and the advisor was very helpful and recommended the best policy for my grandson. I would definitely use this service again and recommend to others.

Review centre member

We were contacted in good time to make a knowledgable choice. We were given plenty of options with lots of information to enable us to make the right choice.

Review centre member

The service I received was excellent, the staff member was very efficient and knowledgable. She went out of her way to get the best policy for me.

Review centre member

Great service. I really appreciated the help provided by Active Quote to arrange health insurance. The agent was very informative and proactive. Many thanks!

Review centre member

I received excellent care and attention from the first phone call till the last. Friendly, efficient and patient.

Review centre member

Staff are very helpful, friendly and polite. They call back when they say they will and keep you up to date with progress. Pleasure to deal with.

Review centre member

Very polite and friendly, and gave detailed explanations of all aspects of the cover. Reassuring to know that if you do have a problem there is someone you can contact.

Review centre member

Friendly and efficient. Nothing was too much trouble even when i needed to make a small change, excellent service.

Review centre member

The advisor was incredibly helpful and fully explained the differences between the policies. I really liked the fact that I was put under no pressure.

Review centre member

I was pleasantly surprised with the in-depth knowledge, the efficiency and the nice and polite manner of the staff - the explanations were made very clearly.

Review centre member
This site is operated by Insurance Broker ActiveQuote Ltd registered in England & Wales company number 6765845.
Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm reference number 501109 as detailed on the Financial Services Register. Please read our Key Facts document.
For information about your rights as a consumer visit Citizens Advice.

Our insurance comparison service is free and easy for you to use, but you are responsible for making sure all your information is entered correctly, and for choosing your insurer.

This site uses cookies in order to work correctly - these are not harmful and do not contain personal information. By using this site you consent to this. I understand  Tell me more

please wait ...