To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the Biosimilars Medicines Programme Board is effectively overseeing hospital trusts in relation to following shared decision-making principles and patient consent guidance when implementing biosimilar switching programmes; and what steps his Department has taken when that guidance has not been followed.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how Regional Medicines Optimisation Committees are monitoring and measuring the uptake of best value biological medicines; and what steps those committees are taking to ensure that patient consent and involvement is consistently observed.
NHS England has issued guidance around the commissioning of biological medicines and expects clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to give due consideration to this guidance. The Commissioning Framework sets out the importance of developing local policies to support switching patients to biosimilars in line with best practice, but ultimately CCGs and hospital trusts are accountable for their own local decision making.
All National Health Service organisations have a responsibility to encourage a shift in moving to shared decision making, and in ensuring that all patient consultations are done with a focus on shared decision making, and are happening at an individual healthcare professional/patient level. NHS England has also made clear that the decision to prescribe a biological medicine for an individual patient, whether an originator or biosimilar, or to change between the two, rests with the responsible prescriber in consultation with the patient, in line with the principles of shared decision making.
Uptake of best value biological medicines is monitored and measured via the NHS Improvement Model Hospital Dashboard. The Regional Medicines Optimisation Committee’s (RMOC) role is to review regional variation, understand the reasons for it and signpost outliers to implementation tools/guidance to support increased uptake. The RMOC work on best value biological medicines is done so in line with the shared care principles set out in the Commissioning Framework for best value biological medicines, including biosimilar medicines.