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Volume 455: debated on Monday 8 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will take steps to ensure that the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence's decision about Alimta is communicated to mesothelioma sufferers as soon as it is known; (109066)

(2) when the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence is expected to reach its decision on whether Alimta should be approved for use in the NHS.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) announced on 19 December 2006 that the appeals lodged against NICE's appraisal of pemetrexed disodium (Alimta) for the treatment of mesothelioma had been upheld. The appraisal will be returned to NICE's Appraisal Committee for further work. Final guidance is now expected later in 2007 and NICE will ensure that this is widely publicised.