For the first time, NHS organisations are to be named in this year’s report on the uptake of drugs approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence for use by the Service in England.

The report will compare the actual use of medicines that have been positively appraised by NICE with an estimate calculated by the Institute.

It will name the NHS organisations involved, with data shown at strategic health authority, primary care trust or cancer network level, depending on the level of usage and healthcare settings.

This will be the second report concerning the uptake of medicines following their positive appraisal by NICE. The first, published in September 2009, was developed by the Department of Health, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, NICE and the NHS Information Centre, as part of a commitment in the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme.

A total of 26 different treatments, covering 13 technology appraisals, were included in the first report. Treatments were for a wide range of conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis and obesity.

Out of the 12 appraisals where a comparison could be made, observed use by the NHS in England was higher than the predicted use for seven appraisals and lower for five.

Currently, 81 medicines are being considered for inclusion in this year’s report, which considers usage during 2009; however,  it is likely that some these medicines will not be included because of a lack of quality data, says NICE.

Improvements in this year’s report will include: - updating of estimates of eligible patients which are derived from NICE costing templates, where possible; - improved methodologies; and - opportunities for manufacturers to provide information to support the estimate development and to aid the validation of usage data.

NICE says it is “keen to hear” from prescribing leads, relevant PCT and SHA managers on the approach being taken in this year’s report and how this information could be utilised by the NHS.