Wednesday 14 October 2020
In January 2020 the States approved the recommendations of the Committee for Health & Social Care to increase the range of drugs and treatments available to Bailiwick residents.
While there has been a need, following the States' decision, to focus limited resources on the Bailiwick's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, established processes for reviewing new drugs have continued throughout the year. This has seen sixteen additional drugs added to the White List and to the Hospital Formulary at the request of clinicians. Separately cases have been considered on an individual basis through the Individual Funding Request process. No request from a doctor for a NICE approved TA drug to be added to the White List has been declined since the States resolution was made.
A range of drugs recommended by NICE TAs and by NICE highly specialised technologies guidance, other high tech products, as well as non-NICE TA products have been made available to islanders since the States vote. The NHS significantly discounted prices has been obtained for all of these products, ensuring maximum value for the taxpayer.
HSC is now in a position to formally commence the work necessary to roll out the first tranche of drugs in line with the Assembly's decision.
Dr Peter Rabey, Medical Director said:
'It is not possible to adopt all NICE TAs in one go as each drug will need individual, technical consideration to ensure that clinicians are supported in accessing and prescribing the drugs appropriately and that the Bailiwick receives value for money through the creation of a specific legal, commercial agreement for each new drug available via an NHS Patient Access Scheme with each manufacturer.
It's a complicated process but one that HSC is committed to and will be starting in the next few weeks with the view that some new drugs will be available to islanders by the end of this year.'
The drugs in the first tranche are likely to be oral drugs administered in the community as these are the ones that can be operationalised the most quickly with clinicians. Precise details will be communicated with clinicians and patients as the first tranche is released. HSC hopes to make available the remainder of the drugs with an ICER per QALY of up to £30,000 during the first half of 2021.
Deputy Heidi Soulsby, HSC President said:
'I am pleased that our work to increase the range of drugs and treatments available to Bailiwick residents has continued this year despite the significant pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I know that persuading the legal departments in drug companies to write bespoke agreements for Guernsey can be challenging and take a considerable amount of time.
Making up to 20 new drugs available for islanders by the end of this year does not sound many to some. However, it is worth noting that 2 drugs included in this number are for cardiac patients and we expect in the region of 1,450 patients to benefit from them.'