Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 22nd March 2018.

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Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Labour, Cambridge

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many medicines have been rejected by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence’s Highly Specialised Technology programme because they did not meet the criterion on the number of patients expected to benefit from the medicine; and what plans he has to increase the figure in that criterion of 500 people affected to reflect population growth.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Since the start of the Highly Specialised Technology Programme (HST) in 2013, there have been three proposed technologies which did not meet the following criteria:

- The target patient group for the technology in its licensed indication is so small that treatment will usually be concentrated in very few centres in the National Health Service.

For a technology to be evaluated under the HST programme it is required to meet all seven of the HST topic selection criteria. The population of 500 patients in England is not a number applied in the criteria. Therefore in this context, the population affected by the condition requires expert centres with concentrated expertise and infrastructure to support the condition in question. A strict number is not applied.

If a technology does not meet the criteria for the HST, it is considered for the Technology Appraisals (TA) programme. If the topic selection criteria for a technology appraisal are met, it is then considered through that programme. All three technologies referred to above were referred to the TA programme.

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