38003 - Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Drugs (Answered)

Andrew Percy
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the extent of access to biological treatments for people with inflammatory bowel disease.

George Freeman

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended four different biological drugs for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the collective term for Crohn’s disease and colitis, for use after the failure of conventional therapies or in patients for whom such therapies are not appropriate. The National Health Service is legally obliged to fund medicines and treatments recommended by NICE's technology appraisals.

Although information concerning the exact number of people with IBD who have been treated with biological drugs in each of the last five years is not available, and no specific assessment of access has been made, some data are collected as part of the IBD audit. The IBD audit programme is commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership on behalf of NHS England and Wales (with additional funding from Healthcare Improvement Scotland), as part of the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme, and carried out by the Royal College of Physicians.

The biological therapies part of the IBD audit aims to assess nationally: the efficacy of biological therapies in the treatment of IBD; the safety of biological therapies in the treatment of IBD; and IBD patients' views on their quality of life at defined intervals throughout their use of biological therapies. The latest round of audit findings, published in September 2015, showed treatment continued to be effective and that patients were receiving treatment with biological therapies at earlier stages of disease. More information can be found at the following link: