Why some drugs or treatments are difficult to access
Local health bodies need to make sure the drugs and treatments they fund are of clear benefit to the people in their area. They also need to make sure they are spending their money wisely.
This means that they may decide some drugs and treatments, which aren’t approved by NICE or the SMC, won’t be readily available. Usually, local health bodies keep a list of drugs or treatments that are not automatically funded.
Cancer drugs or treatments may not be automatically funded if the local health body decides they haven’t been proven to be more effective than other treatments, or if they aren’t good value for money.
The effectiveness of a drug or treatment may be decided after trials have been done and when decisions are made by NICE or the SMC.
Whether or not a drug or treatment is funded in individual cases will be decided by the local health body. Each local health body must have a process in place to make these decisions.
We have more information on how treatments are made available, which you may find helpful.