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National Institute for Clinical Excellence goes public

21 November, 2000

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence will now go public with initial views on whether drugs should be available on the NHS, says a report on BBC online.

Recent press articles about controversial drugs have caused embarrassment to NICE. The institutes' board have scrapped their veil of secrecy and will anounce views on their website in future.

A provisional decision is made as to whether a medication will be available from the NHS, then patient groups and drug companies are consulted and can make their cases for or against. There is the chance to consult an appeal panel, before the final decision is made. Previously the Institute would only make their decision public once the final ruling had been made. 

The institute was established in 1998, and appraises drugs that the Government refers. NICE then advise ministers which drugs should be made available on the NHS.