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 ministers have 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 2 months of the first publication of the final appraisal determination.
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 oral cavity cancer and the doctor responsible for their care thinks that cetuximab is the right treatment, it should be available for use, in line with NICE's recommendations.
5.4 NHS England and Merck have a commercial access agreement that makes cetuximab available to the NHS at a reduced cost for the treatment of oral cavity cancer. The commercial access agreement incorporates a simple discount applied at the point of purchase or invoice of cetuximab. The financial terms of the agreement are commercial in confidence. Any enquiries from NHS organisations about the commercial access agreement should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.