Issued: 21 June 2000 08:30
Ref NICE 2000/ 020
The Institute is extremely disappointed that the confidentiality of its appraisal documentation has not been respected. It is clear from the report on the BBC Evening News on 20 June that one of the organisations which were sent the provisional determination of the Appraisal Committee last Friday has allowed information to leak to the media.
This has happened despite the Institute's express request for the confidentiality of its documents to be respected. Added security arrangements, including confidentiality agreements with all consultees, were put in place as part of an ongoing review of the of the appraisal process being undertaken for the Institute by an external consultancy.
The institute's Chairman, Professor Sir Michael Rawlins said:
"In order to avoid any further uncertainty in the minds of patients and those who care for them, I have no option other than to confirm that the provisional opinion of the Institute's Appraisal Committee's is that other than for those patients who are already receiving these medicines, they should not be made available in the NHS at the present time. This is because, on the basis of a very careful consideration of the evidence, their modest clinical benefit appears to be outweighed by their very high cost."
The Appraisal Process allows for consultation with patient and professional groups and with the manufacturers, and for an appeal, before any guidance is issued. The appraisal of beta interferon and glatiramer is at the consultation stage, which ends on 17 July.
Professor Rawlins continued:
"The Appraisal Committee will listen carefully to the comments it receives from those it has consulted before reaching a final conclusion, at the end of July. Until then, the Institute will make no further comment.