5.1 The Secretary of State has issued directions to the NHS on implementing NICE technology appraisal guidance. When a NICE technology appraisal recommends use of a drug or treatment, or other technology, the NHS must provide funding and resources for it within 3 months of the guidance being published. If the Department of Health issues a variation to the 3-month funding direction, details will be available on the NICE website. The NHS is not required to fund treatments that are not recommended by NICE.
5.2 When NICE recommends a treatment 'as an option', the NHS must make sure it is available within the period set out in the paragraph above. This means that, if a patient has severe active rheumatoid arthritis and the doctor responsible for their care thinks that adalimumab, etanercept, infliximab, rituximab or abatacept is the right treatment, it should be available for use, in line with NICE's recommendations.
5.3 NICE has developed tools to help organisations put this guidance into practice (listed below).
Costing template and report to estimate the national and local savings and costs associated with implementation.
Audit support for monitoring local practice.