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.
4.2 Chapter 2 of Appraisal and funding of cancer drugs from July 2016 (including the new Cancer Drugs Fund) – A new deal for patients, taxpayers and industry states that for those drugs with a draft recommendation for routine commissioning, interim funding will be available (from the overall Cancer Drugs Fund budget) from the point of marketing authorisation, or from release of positive draft guidance, whichever is later. Interim funding will end 90 days after positive final guidance is published (or 30 days in the case of drugs with an Early Access to Medicines Scheme designation or fast track appraisal), at which point funding will switch to routine commissioning budgets. The NHS England and NHS Improvement Cancer Drugs Fund list provides up-to-date information on all cancer treatments recommended by NICE since 2016. This includes whether they have received a marketing authorisation and been launched in the UK.
4.3 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.
4.4 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 metastatic or unresectable recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and their cancer started in the oral cavity, 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 recommendations.