The HSC Board supports the timely introduction of effective new medicines that allow people in Northern Ireland to benefit from advances in medical treatment.
The HSC Board have developed arrangements for improving the process where by new medicines are adopted for use, to ensure timely access to those medicines that have an evidence base for efficacy and cost-effectiveness. These arrangements are known as the Managed Entry process and came into effect on 1st April 2014. The board adopts the decisions made by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as policy. In advance of, or in the absence of, a published NICE determination the Board will seek and potentially apply decisions made by other well established UK bodies.
What does this mean for prescribers?
During the process of making new drugs available, prescribers in Northern Ireland are expected to maintain adherence to the NI Formulary for a broad range of conditions. Managed Entry will specify either:
- “Accepted for use”: new medicines with limited long-term safety and outcome data, should only be prescribed in the particular circumstances outlined
- “Not accepted for use”: medicines that should not be prescribed in primary or secondary care for the indications specified. Drugs that are not accepted for use can however be supplied in particular circumstances through the individual funding route via secondary care. Patients currently receiving such drugs should be able to continue therapy until they and their clinician consider it clinically appropriate to stop.