36977 - Diseases: Medical Treatments (Answered)

Greg Mulholland
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to ensure that the NHS England consultation on a proposed method to support investment decisions in specialised commissioning launched on 12 April 2016 does not disadvantage potential treatments for rare diseases.

George Freeman

The consultation on a proposed method to support investment decisions in specialised commissioning closed on 11 May 2016. All responses will now be independently analysed, and NHS England will consider the report before making a final decision on the method to be used by the Clinical Priorities Advisory Group (CPAG) when it meets in June 2016 to look at areas for future investment.

In recognition that there may be limited evidence to support proposed treatments for rare conditions, NHS England has proposed that the CPAG may recommend that interventions for rare conditions are funded where there is limited published evidence on clinical effectiveness. CPAG will also be able to seek advice from NHS England’s Rare Diseases Advisory Group - whose membership comprises of both clinicians and patient and public representatives.

To ensure people with rare diseases are not disadvantaged, NHS England’s consultation includes an Equality Impact Assessment which explicitly considers the impact of the proposed process on people with rare conditions, and respondents to consultation have been invited to submit their views on this issue.