I wrote to NHS England on 3rd May. I have today received their response.
Please find attached a response that has been provided by the Medicines, Diagnostics and Personalised Medicine Unit
within the Medical Directorate of NHS England.
I hope that you will find the explanation provided useful.
Emma Woolley Customer Service Advisor
NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT
Dear Ms ………………..
Many thanks for your correspondence sent to the Customer Contact Centre at NHS England regarding NHS England’s recent announcement to review some prescription items, including Liothyronine.
The cost for all prescriptions dispensed in primary care in 2015, not including any dispensing costs or fees, was £9.27 billion, a 4.7% increase on the previous year. Due to the increasing cost, from April 2017, NHS England will lead a review of low value prescription items and develop new guidance for CCGs. CCGs are responsible for planning the right services to meet the needs of local people, buying local health services including community health care and hospital services, and checking that the services are delivering the best possible care and treatment for those who need them.
The purpose of this review is to develop guidance at a national level that will support CCGs locally to manage their resources and reduce the differing approaches and regional variation in prescribing across England. It will be based on the latest clinical evidence, including from NICE, and take account of the changing healthcare and societal environment.
Whilst seeking to set out the overall clinical evidence as to the efficacy of certain medicines, it will also recognise the needs of particular groups and individuals, which can best be addressed by the individual clinician when caring and prescribing medicines for their patient. Please be assured that careful consideration will be given to ensure that particular groups of people are not disproportionately affected, and that principles of best practice clinical prescribing are followed.
The review follows extensive work by NHS Clinical Commissioners, the membership group of CCGs, that identified significant areas where potential savings can be made, up to potentially up to £400m per year. The national guidance will be developed in partnership with CCGs and clinicians, and will seek to put in place practices that are fit for purpose now and that support a sustainable future for the NHS, as set out in NHS England’s recently published Next Steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View document.
NHS England will publish a consultation on the draft guidance on low value prescription items in the next few months. We welcome the views and expertise of the public, patients, clinicians, commissioners and providers through this consultation process to inform the final guidance. For more information, please do regularly check the NHS England’s website.
If you have any other queries regarding the NHS Five Year Forward View you can contact the team responsible directly on firstname.lastname@example.org.