4 Implementation

4.1 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. Because pembrolizumab has been available through the early access to medicines scheme, NHS England and commissioning groups have agreed to provide funding to implement this guidance 30 days after publication.

4.2 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 document.

4.3 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 untreated PD‑L1-positive metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (with at least a 50% tumour proportion score) and no epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)- or anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive tumour mutations, and the doctor responsible for their care thinks that pembrolizumab is the right treatment, it should be available for use, in line with NICE's recommendation.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)