Commissioning

06.12.17

Commissioners call on DH to ‘blacklist’ ineffective treatments

NHS England has launched guidance detailing 18 items which should not routinely be prescribed in primary care.

However, following the announcement NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) has also called for seven treatments to be ‘blacklisted’ from medical practice for being ineffective.

A joint clinical working group considered the responses to a consultation which ran between July and October this year.

Following its board meeting last week, NHS England agreed that the 18 items should no longer be routinely prescribed, which the board estimated would save the NHS up to £141m a year.

Included in the list are some painkillers, such as immediate-release fentanyl, licensed for the treatment of breakthrough pain in adults with cancer who are already receiving morphine.

The working group felt that the small number of patients that this is applicable to does not justify current prescribing volumes.

Dietary supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids, can be obtained from diet and “there is no good quality data for their use,” according to the board.

Two antidepressants, dosulepin and trimiparine, were included due to toxicity and cost effectiveness respectively.

Travel vaccines were included as they were felt to be a “low priority for NHS funding.”

Homeopathy and herbal medicines were also included due to “the lack of robust evidence of their clinical effectiveness.”

Of those who responded to the consultation, 65% were supportive of proposed criteria to assess items which are available over the counter, which could save an estimated £190m a year by cutting prescriptions for minor, short-term conditions.

NHSCC has also called for the Department of Health to go a step further and blacklist seven of the treatments: homeopathy, herbal treatments, omega-3 fatty acid compounds, rubefacients, lutein & antioxidants and glucosamine & chondroitin due to a lack of evidence supporting their effectiveness, and co-proxamol due to safety concerns.

The move also builds on changes made in March this year that saw NHS England stop prescribing low-value medicines that are easily available over-the-counter. 

Dr. Graham Jackson, NHSCC co-chair said that the guidance would support clinical commissioners in prioritising effectively and ensuring the best value.

He continued: “We were pleased by the volume of responses to the consultation, which gave an opportunity to take into account and reflect the views of public, patients and clinicians and key stakeholders in the final guidance.  

“We need to carry on having these honest open conversations on what the NHS can and should provide with the funding it has, so that we can continue to deliver high quality care.”

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, called the NHS “one of the most efficient health systems in the world,” but said that more should be done to “make taxpayers’ money go further.”

He continued: “The NHS faces the toughest funding squeeze in its history, and we need to make some hard-headed decisions about what we can and can’t afford.

“The NHS should simply not be paying for treatments where there is no robust evidence they work.

“It is also right that we look at cutting prescriptions for medicines that patients can buy for a fraction of the price the NHS pays.”

Top Image: alvarez

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

Struggling Cornwall trust appoints permanent chief executive to lead it out of special measures

18/01/2019Struggling Cornwall trust appoints permanent chief executive to lead it out of special measures

The Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT) has announced that Kate Shields, the current interim chief executive, has been appointed to lead the tr... more >
Bradford hospitals trust fined by CQC after breaching its duty of candour

18/01/2019Bradford hospitals trust fined by CQC after breaching its duty of candour

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS FT (BTH) has been fined by the CQC after failing to apologise to a family in time after a safety incident, breaki... more >
Substantial deficits across NHS ‘do not paint a picture of sustainability’ and threaten long-term plan, warns spending watchdog

18/01/2019Substantial deficits across NHS ‘do not paint a picture of sustainability’ and threaten long-term plan, warns spending watchdog

The NHS is not financially sustainable and substantial deficits at NHS bodies, year-on-year increases in waiting lists and waiting times, and sta... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital e... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now bey... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

Gentleness: an underrated quality in effective leadership

14/01/2019Gentleness: an underrated quality in effective leadership

Dean Royles, strategic workforce advisor at Skills for Health and co-author of ‘An Introduction to Human Resource Management,’ returns to write for NHE for his blog series on effective leadership. “It is not in your top three, Dean…” The difficulty in asking for feedback is that sometimes, occasionally,... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

Sneak a peek into the world of risk

19/12/2018Sneak a peek into the world of risk

The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) asked its members what working in risk is really like and what hints and tips they’d share with peop... more >
The NHS Assembly: A moment to reset

19/12/2018The NHS Assembly: A moment to reset

The development of the NHS long-term plan offers a reset moment: a chance to develop a credible, sector-owned blueprint designed to improve care ... more >
NHS Supply Chain: Driving the way forward

19/12/2018NHS Supply Chain: Driving the way forward

Jin Sahota spent two years at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) establishing the future operating model for the new NHS Supply Chai... more >
Leading the way: The Translational Research Collaboration for Mental Health

19/12/2018Leading the way: The Translational Research Collaboration for Mental Health

Professor John Geddes, director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre, introduces the new... more >

interviews

How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to surging demand burdening acute health providers over the winter months,... more >
RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

24/10/2018RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

The president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has told NHE that the college’s new headquarters based in Liverpool will become a hu... more >
Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s far from being all that matters. Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Pu... more >
Cutting through the fake news

22/11/2017Cutting through the fake news

In an era of so-called ‘fake news’ growing alongside a renewed focus on reducing stigma around mental health, Paul Farmer, chief exec... more >

health service focus

View all News