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Arthritis: Medical Treatments

Volume 472: debated on Monday 3 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effect on people with ankylosing spondylitis of waiting for the appeal process to complete on Remicade before issuing guidance on the administering of anti-TNF medication; and if he will make a statement. (188740)

We have made no assessment of the effect on people waiting for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) appeal process to complete.

Funding for licensed treatments should not be withheld because guidance from NICE is unavailable. In December 2006, we issued refreshed good practice guidance which asks national health service bodies to continue with local arrangements for the managed introduction of new technologies where guidance from NICE is not available at the time the treatment or technology first becomes available.