To ask the Secretary of State for Health
(1) whether he plans to establish an orphan medicines appraisal process for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence;
(2) what recent discussions he has had with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence on the adequacy of the health technology appraisal process for appraising (a) orphan medicines and (b) treatments for rarer cancers.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) already appraises orphan medicines where these meet the published criteria for referral and we have no plans to establish a separate appraisal process within NICE. Neither have there been any recent discussions with NICE on these issues. NICE consults periodically on its technology appraisal processes, and last did so in 2008-09.