Tuesday 26 November 2019
The Committee for Health & Social Care has published a Policy Letter for consideration by the States in January 2020, which details its proposals for changes to drug funding policy.
The Policy Letter makes a series of recommendations to the States to increase the range of drugs and treatments available to Bailiwick residents.
This Policy Letter follows the publication in August 2019 of a detailed review undertaken by Solutions for Public Health (an NHS public health consultancy), which is available from https://gov.gg/niceta
Supported by the findings of this review, the Committee is proposing an incremental approach to introduce new drugs and treatments in receipt of a Technology Appraisal (TA) from the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE). It recommends funding those drugs and treatments with an incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER) of below £30,000 in year 1 and extending further treatments in year 2 to those with an ICER value of less than £40,000.
A further review, to be reported to the States during year 3, will set out proposals for the long-term funding arrangements necessary for the continuance of drugs and treatments with an ICER value of less than £40,000. The review will also validate or otherwise the introduction of drugs and treatments with an ICER value greater than £40,000 together with any associated financial and resource implications.
Deputy Heidi Soulsby, President of HSC said:
'The current policy regarding prioritisation and funding of drugs and treatments has, to a large extent, been in existence for the last 17 years. Whilst it has been effective in controlling the rate of increase in health costs it has created disparity between the drugs available to patients in England and those available to patients in the Bailiwick. HSC believes that this gap is now too large to be acceptable and a change in policy is required to ensure that this situation does not worsen'.
Since the publication of the review findings in August, HSC has been working closely with colleagues from the Policy & Resources Committee and the Committeefor Employment & Social Security to consider how it will implement and secure funding for an incremental approach.
The estimated amount of funding required is expected to be in the region of £5.6m in Year 1 and £8.3m from Year 2.
Deputy Soulsby said:
'A change in policy to introduce all NICE TAs overnight would not be practically possible. It would also come at a considerably increased cost almost immediately. For these reasons HSC has worked with colleagues across other Committees to develop a manageable, incremental approach, with a review being undertaken half way through the implementation.
I am pleased that the Guernsey Health Reserve (previously known as the Guernsey Health Service Fund) has been identified as a source of funding during the early years as this will allow us to make some changes without waiting for the longer-term piece of work on the fiscal review to be completed.'