To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to consider the use of new drugs and treatments for hearing loss and tinnitus.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is responsible for developing technology appraisal guidance for the National Health Service on whether new and existing treatments represent an effective use of NHS resources. NHS commissioners are required to fund drugs and treatments recommended by NICE, normally within three months of the publication of final guidance.
The Department is aware of a number of treatments for specific types of hearing loss, as well tinnitus, which are currently in development. The safety and efficacy of these treatments would need to be sufficiently demonstrated in clinical trials before they could become publically available and appropriate for consideration by NICE.