5 Implementation

5.1 The Secretary of State and the Welsh Assembly Minister for Health and Social Services have issued directions to the NHS in England and Wales on implementing NICE technology appraisal guidance. When a NICE technology appraisal recommends use of a drug or treatment, or other technology, the NHS must usually 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. When there is no NICE technology appraisal guidance on a drug, treatment or other technology, decisions on funding should be made locally.

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 castration‑resistant metastatic prostate cancer previously treated with a docetaxel‑containing regimen and the doctor responsible for their care thinks that abiraterone 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.

5.4 NHS England and Janssen have agreed that abiraterone will be available to the NHS with a commercial access arrangement. The details of this commercial access arrangement are confidential. It is the responsibility of the company to communicate the details of the commercial access arrangement with the relevant NHS organisations. Any enquiries from NHS organisations about the commercial access arrangment should be directed to Janssen's customer services team on 0149 456 7400 or janssenukcustomerservices@its.jnj.com.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)