Yesterday Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, was questioned by MPs on the efficiency of NICE decision making.
Topics such as the availability of spinal muscular astrophy (SMA) treatments, licensing of cannabis-based drugs and NICE appraisal process for rare diseases were all put to the Secretary of State.
Specifically, when asked whether the NICE appraisal process for rare diseases was fit for purpose, Matt Hancock responded:
“I do agree it is important that NICE constantly tries to get those decisions made objectively, robustly and as fast as possible. There is cross-party support, and I hope continuing cross-party support, for these judgments being made independently so that they are taken not by Ministers but by clinicians. We can all agree that this has to be done as quickly and as efficiently as possible.”
When asked about the delays in treatments for SMA patients, Mr Hancock answered that NICE are currently working on developing technical appraisal guidance on the use of Spinraza and that:
“We are working to ensure that we get it right.”
The Secretary of State’s full responses to these Parliamentary questions can be found here.