5.1 Section 7(6) of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Constitution and Functions) and the Health and Social Care Information Centre (Functions) Regulations 2013 requires clinical commissioning groups, NHS England and, with respect to their public health functions, local authorities to comply with the recommendations in this appraisal within 3 months of its date of publication.
5.2 The Welsh Assembly Minister for Health and Social Services has issued directions to the NHS in Wales on implementing NICE technology appraisal guidance. When a NICE technology appraisal recommends the use of a drug or treatment, or other technology, the NHS in Wales must usually provide funding and resources for it within 3 months of the guidance being published.
5.3 When NICE recommends a treatment 'as an option', the NHS must make sure it is available within the period set out in the paragraphs above. This means that, if a patient has rheumatoid arthritis and the doctor responsible for their care thinks that adalimumab, etanercept, infliximab, certolizumab pegol, golimumab, tocilizumab and abatacept is the right treatment, it should be available for use, in line with NICE's recommendations.
5.4 The Department of Health, Bristol–Myers Squibb and Roche have agreed that abatacept and tocilizumab will be available to the NHS with patient access schemes which make the drugs available with a discount. The size of the discount is commercial in confidence. It is the responsibility of each company to communicate details of their drug's discount to the relevant NHS organisations. The Department of Health and Merck, Sharp & Dohme have agreed that golimumab will be available to the NHS with a patient access scheme which makes it available with a discount. This will make the 100 mg dose of golimumab available to the NHS at the same cost as the 50 mg dose. The Department of Health and UCB Pharma have agreed that certolizumab pegol will be available to the NHS with a patient access scheme. UCB Pharma will provide the first 12 weeks of certolizumab pegol free of charge, which is equivalent to 10 vials. Any enquiries from NHS organisations about the patient access schemes should be directed to: