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NHS: Drugs

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 26 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will issue revised guidance to health trusts on the storage and use of medicinal drugs to ensure that patients are not given the wrong drug or the wrong amount of drug; and if he will make a statement. (187950)

Information on the safe handling and use of medicines is available to national health service trusts from a variety of sources including:

comprehensive guidance on the handling, storage and administration of medicines, “The Safe And Secure Handling Of Medicines: A Team Approach”, was issued by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain in March 2005. This updated guidance previously issued by the Department;

guidance on good practice in the management of controlled drugs in primary care was issued by the National Prescribing Centre in February 2007 and the Department issued revised guidance for secondary care in October 2007;

the National Patient Safety Agency provides a range of practical resources to support NHS organisations and independent health care providers in learning from medication errors and reducing risk; and

prescribers also have access to a wide variety of impartial, trustworthy information resources on prescribing and the use of medicines such as the British National Formulary, British National Formulary for Children, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance and information and advice.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health who is responsible for demonstrating the cost-effectiveness of a new drug treatment within the appraisal and authorisation process conducted by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence; and if he will make a statement. (188140)

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) draws on a number of different sources of information to appraise the clinical and cost-effectiveness of drugs assessed through its Multiple Technology Appraisals (MTA) process. The different sources of information are set out in more detail in NICE'S “Guide to the methods of technology appraisal” which can be found at

www.nice.org.uk/niceMedia/pdf/TAP_Methods.pdf

When a single drug for a single indication is being appraised through NICE'S Single Technology Appraisals (STA) process, it is the responsibility of the drug's manufacturer to provide a submission that demonstrates the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the drug concerned.

In both the MTA and STA processes, the cost effectiveness models are independently reviewed by an academic group.