NHS England is planning to rationalise the approach to medicines evaluation via the development of four regional medicines optimisation committees. In a major change to the market access route for new medicines or indications of existing medicines, which are not evaluated by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence technology appraisal (NICE TA) programme, it is proposed that in the future the evaluation will be performed by one of the four RMOCs who will give a national decision, as opposed to the current process of review by individual area prescribing committees.

NHS England has committed to achieving best value and patient outcomes from all medicines by helping to eliminate unnecessary duplication of effort from area prescribing processes, and refocus scarce resources towards implementation activities, through implementation of medicines optimisation as part of the Right Care programme.

The NHS England discussion document: “Regional Medicines Optimisation Committees - Proposals for Establishment” was published on August 1st, and is due to close on September 19th.

“The Accelerated Access Review: Interim Report (October 2015) highlighted the need to reduce unnecessary barriers to patients receiving the medicines they need. A long held concern is how new medicines, or some new indications of existing medicines, which are not evaluated by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Technology Appraisals (NICE TA) programme, are instead evaluated many times across the NHS. To achieve this goal, NHS England is committed to the establishment of four Regional Medicines Optimisation Committees (RMOCs), operating together as part of a single system to eliminate duplication of activities. NHS England is committed to establishing the committees through co-production which is why we have published a discussion paper. The purpose of the paper is to test the proposals for the establishment of the four RMOCs which have been developed working with a range of stakeholders.”