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Health minister Norman Warner announced last week that he is taking steps to ensure that health organisations make the necessary financial arrangements for the implementation of the recommendations of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).
Since its inception in 1999 NICE has issued guidance on the use of over 200 drugs and treatments. With some exceptions the NHS in England and Wales is required to provide any treatments endorsed by NICE within three months of the institute's decision, but in reality the NHS has struggled to keep up with the pace of the institute's outputs.
Patients' organisations, the drugs industry, and many clinicians have …