The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) will examine uses of Botox, Revlimid and Tarceva as part of its new work programme, Ministers have agreed.

The Institute has been asked to appraise the clinical and cost effectiveness of Allergan's Botox (botulinum toxin type A), within its licensed indication, for the prophylaxis of headaches associated with chronic migraine.

In July 2010, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) licensed Botox as the first preventative treatment for chronic migraine in adults. The Migraine Trust welcomed the license, pointing out that the PREEMPT 1 and 2 studies, published in the journal Cephalgia on March 17 2010, had shown Botox to be effective in this indication.

However, in April 2011, the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) said it would not be recommending the use of Botox in this indication through the NHS in Scotland.

NICE’s new work programme will also be looking at the clinical and cost effectiveness of Celgene's Revlimid (lenalidomide) within several licensed indications. These are: - for the maintenance treatment of multiple myeloma after autologous stem cell transplantation; - as induction therapy for newly-diagnosed multiple myeloma and as maintenance therapy for newly-diagnosed multiple myeloma in people who have previously received induction chemotherapy; and - for the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes associated with a deletion 5q cytogenetic abnormality in people with red blood cell transfusion dependence.

And finally, NICE will appraise the clinical and cost effectiveness of Roche's Tarceva (erlotinib), within its licensed indication, for the first-line treatment of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase (TK) mutation-positive locally-advanced or metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer.

Meantime, NICE has been asked by the National Quality Board (NQB) to open an engagement exercise to inform the development of a library of NHS healthcare topics, which will decide new quality standards.

The quality standards developed by NICE "are a tool for commissioners and healthcare providers to help them deliver high-quality care locally, and set the benchmark for excellent healthcare quality," said Dr Fergus Macbeth, director of the centre for clinical practice at NICE.

"The library of topics will inform new quality standards, and this engagement exercise is a good opportunity for all those interested parties to put forward their ideas. I would urge them to submit their comments through the NICE website," he added.

The library can be found from August 15 on the NICE website, and interested parties have until October 14 to submit their comments.