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NHS: Drugs

Volume 476: debated on Wednesday 21 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will establish a separate medicines appraisal system for ultra-orphan drugs; and if he will make a statement; (204525)

(2) with reference to the answer of 14 May 2007, Official Report, columns 605-6W, on NHS: drugs, on what grounds the decision not to establish a separate appraisal system for ultra-orphan drugs was made; and whether this decision has been reviewed in 2008.

A separate appraisal system for ultra orphan drugs was not established as it was felt that national commissioning was a more appropriate route for ensuring consistent availability of certain ultra orphan drugs for rare genetic disorders. I have no plans at present to establish such a system. This position is kept under review in the context of other developments relating to policy on new drugs but has not been the subject of a specific review exercise in 2008.