NHS England has invested in two policies enabling access to some of the new treatments (in advance of the publication of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence technology appraisals) for patients with hepatitis C with the greatest clinical need.
NHS England’s Interim Clinical Commissioning Policy Statement of April 2014 provided an Early Access Scheme for around 1,000 patients with decompensated cirrhosis. Then in June 2015, NHS England extended that policy so the next group of patients with the greatest clinical need, those with cirrhosis, could also benefit from the new Direct Acting Antivirals. A copy of both of these policies has been attached.
Between publication of the cirrhosis policy in June and 19 October, NHS England received over 1,900 notifications of decisions to treat under the policy. These notifications are submitted by treating clinicians and confirm that patients meet the policy criteria.
In order to confirm the actual cost of this policy, NHS England needs to complete a process of validating treatment notifications against actual trust reported activity and invoicing data on dispensed drugs. These data sources are submitted at different times and so an accurate assessment of the cost of the policy to date will not be able to be possible until the end of the year. Any data shared on the cost of the policy will need to observe commercial in confidence pricing agreements.
Based on preliminary modelling, NHS England set aside £190 million in 2015-16 for the treatment of hepatitis C.