36034 - Anticoagulants (Answered)

Mrs Cheryl Gillan
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment his Department has made of the practical barriers to prescribing novel oral anti-coagulants at a local level; and what steps his Department is taking to enable patients to receive the most effective medicines to prevent strokes recommended by NICE.

George Freeman

Guidance published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in June 2014 makes it clear that the choice of anticoagulant should be determined through discussion with the patient.

Alongside this, the NICE Implementation Collaborative, which brings together the National Health Service, industry, healthcare professionals and NICE, published a consensus statement which addresses some of the barriers to prescribing novel oral anti-coagulants (NOACs).

NHS England and Public Health England, working with the Primary Care Cardiovascular Disease Leadership Forum and third sector organisations including the British Heart Foundation and the Stroke Association, have also developed resources to support evidence-based commissioning and clinical practice in relation to anticoagulants. These include the CVD Primary Care Intelligence Packs and Atrial Fibrillation – How Can We Do Better, which emphasise the role of NOACs in stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation and recommend that local clinicians agree a consensus approach that reflects current guidance.

The latest information in the Innovation Scorecard on the uptake of NOACs (dabigatran etexilate, rivaroxaban and apixaban) shows that regional variation is reducing. This variation could be driven by a number of causes including variation in the number of patients eligible and use of different treatment options in different areas, as well as variation in clinical practice.

The Accelerated Access Review has the potential to benefit the health system, aiming to improve care and outcomes by giving patients quicker access to new treatments and improve the longer-term affordability of the product pipeline. This will allow the NHS to meet demand for these products in future years.

The Review will make recommendations to Government on speeding up access to transformative new medicines and technologies for NHS patients by summer 2016.