The first full work programme of the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) has been announced by health secretary Alan Milburn, with emphasis on the targeting of killer diseases.
NICE will be issuing the NHS with guidance on the use of beta interderon for multiple sclerosis, technologies for treating heart disease and on taxane drugs used to treat ovarian and breast cancer.
NICE was established to improve standards within the NHS and put an end to lottery healthcare. It will set clear national standards for all parts of the NHS. It will support clinician’s decisions over the treatment of individual patients, while aiding the availability of good value treatments to patients.
“The clinical expertise of NICE gives it the credibility to make difficult decisions based on sound evidence of which treatments are best,” said Milburn. “For its first year’s programme I have asked NICE to look at treatments dealing with the nation’s biggest killers – cancer and coronary disease.”
He added: NICE will help us make the NHS faster and fairer. For the first time in the health service’s history it will provide clear, independent and expert advice on which treatments work best for which patients.”