Summaries of the best available evidence for selected new medicines, off-label use of licensed medicines and unlicensed medicines.

Evidence summaries:

  • inform national commissioning decisions about medicines, for example by NHS England

  • provide information for healthcare professionals to inform their decision-making and support the development and updating of local formularies

  • help inform the public about a medicine and condition to help them make decisions about the medicine

  • provide information about an unlicensed medicine or off-label use of a licensed medicine that is being considered when there are no suitable alternatives licensed for that situation.

Evidence summaries are NICE advice,  they do not include recommendations and do not constitute formal NICE guidance. The strengths and weaknesses of the relevant evidence are critically reviewed within each evidence summary. 

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What do evidence summaries cover?

Evidence summaries provide a summary of the best available evidence for selected medicines that are considered to be of significance to the NHS including:

  • new medicines

    • a medicine that has recently been granted a marketing authorisation or recently launched in the UK (normally within the past 6 months)

    • a medicine with an existing UK marketing authorisation that has been recently licensed for a new indication (normally within the past 6 months)

    • a new formulation of an existing licensed medicine recently granted a marketing authorisation or launched in the UK (normally within the past 6 months)

  • off-label use of licensed medicines

    • a medicine that is used outside of its marketing authorisation (off-label use of medicines)

  • unlicensed medicines

    • a medicine that is used when there is no licensed medicine for a condition

    • a medicine that is used when there is no licensed medicine appropriate for a significant proportion of people needing treatment for a condition.

Who are evidence summaries for? 

Evidence summaries are produced to inform the decision-making of:

  • groups involved in:

    • commissioning or funding services using medicines (such as NHS England, RMOCs and local APCs)

    • developing medicines optimisation policies

    • individual funding requests, for example, within a CCG or NHS trust

  • healthcare professionals caring for individuals

  • healthcare professionals involved in local commissioning decisions for planning purposes, for example, within a CCG or NHS trust

  • patients and the public

  • local medicines optimisation and horizon scanning services.

Find out more

Our process guide sets out how we select topics and prepare the summaries.

Evidence summaries: process guide