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NICE warns CCGs about ignoring its advice

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has warned clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) that they can only legally ignore its guidance if they have a clear clinical reason.

The warning follows the ruling by a High Court judge that Thanet CCG was wrong to ignore NICE guidance to refuse to fund the oocyte cryopreservation (egg freezing) treatment of a 25-year old woman who was facing chemotherapy which could threaten her fertility.

Commenting on the decision, NICE chief executive Sir Andrew Dillon said: “This court ruling highlights that CCGs cannot simply ignore NICE guidelines without having a clear clinical case for doing so.

“NICE guidelines are based on best available evidence. Our fertility guideline was recently updated and provides clear support for the use of oocyte cryopreservation.” 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.11138169

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