The role of NICE will not really change under the latest health reforms, the Chief Executive has said in an interview.
Speaking to GP, Sir Andrew Dillon explained that NICE will continue to have an important role in assessing the clinical and cost-effectiveness of new drugs.
He also said that the Institute hopes to be the “go-to place” for GPs for advice and support in their new role as commissioners.
Under the changes detailed in the Government’s White Paper, NICE’s role will become more ‘advisory’ and it will be up to GP consortia to decide which treatments they will fund. However, the Chief Executive does not see this as any great change.
“NICE's guidance on new drugs has been, and remains, guidance,” he told GP. ”It doesn't override the responsibility that health professionals have in individual cases to make a judgment that is in the best interests of individual patients.”
NICE will also have a role in producing clinical guidelines and quality standards, and in developing the commissioning outcomes framework, which will judge the success of GP commissioners.
“What we want to do is to make it as easy as possible for people to make the right decision for individual patients about new drugs,” Dillon explained. “To do that, we need to very clearly set out the optimal position of new treatments in clinical practice and we hope to carry on doing that.”
He added that he is looking forward to working more closely with GPs: “There’s a real opportunity for NICE to become a really important, helpful, supportive resource for GPs. That's our intention.
“We'd love to be the go-to place for GPs both in their work as health professionals and the job they have to do as commissioners.”