Select Committee on Health Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Attachment 3

Copy of a letter dated 11 January 2001 from the Chief Executive of National Institute for Clinical Excellence to The Editor for Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin


  Thank you for sending me the first circulation draft of this paper.

  The Institute's advice to the NHS in England and Wales on zanamivir is set out in its recent guidance.

  The only comment on your paper I would wish to make is to draw your attention to the Directions to the Institute from the Secretary of State for Health, which you might wish to be aware of in relation to your observation about the possible introduction of a "need clause" into the Institute's terms of reference. The Directions indicate that the Institute should take account of:

    —  the Secretary of State's and the National Assembly for Wales' broad clinical priorities (as set out for instance in National Priorities Guidance and in National Service Frameworks, or any specific guidance on individual referrals);

—  the degree of clinical need of the patients with the condition under consideration;

—  the broad balance of benefits and costs;

—  any guidance from the Secretary of State and the National Assembly for Wales on the resources likely to be available and on such matters as they may think fit;

—  the effective use of available resources;

—  the longer-term interests of the NHS in encouraging innovation of good value to patients.

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