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Blackburn with Darwen Primary Care Trust - About Us

Requests for a new medicine: Overview

"Need and demand for healthcare always exceeds the funding that is available to the NHS. This requires PCTs to prioritise needs into those that will be met and those that will not. The challenge lies in arriving at fair decisions which properly balance competing needs." (NHS Confederation, 2008)

CCGs are increasingly being requested to fund new and innovative treatments by clinicians and patients. in an era of finite resources It can not be expected that new medicines are introduced in an ad hoc basis through the mechanism of individual case funding. To do so would risk inequity, since the treatment would not be offered openly and equally to all with equal clinical need. It would also risk diverting resources in such a way that would destabilise other areas of healthcare identified as priorities. Therefore, decisions on the introduction of new medicines will take place on a population level,  within the established planning frameworks of the NHS after consideration by the appropriate committees.

Within East Lancashire the Medicines Management Board (MMB) is the decision making committee, responsible for critically reviewing the evidence base and cost effectiveness of all medicines, whilst being able to effectively relate the priority and costs of these medicines to that of the overall CCG and national NHS priorities. 


 In accordance with Secretary of State Directions an overarching policy which outlines the framework and defines the decision making process within the MMB has been produced and can be found below.




Priority setting of medicines - overarching policy document
Priority setting of medicines - overarching policy document - [978 KB] Overarching Policy for the Managed Introduction of New Drugs (Priority Setting of Medicines)


Richard Lee, East Lancashire Health Economy New Drugs Pharmacist.


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