The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) have a shared interest in the drive to improve patient access to new medicines and treatments. A memorandum of understanding exists which formally sets out a collaboration between NICE and AWMSG.
NICE has been reviewing its processes and methodology for appraising antimicrobials. Whilst this review by NICE was ongoing, AWMSG accepted submissions for the appraisal of antimicrobials to ensure advice continued to be available in NHS Wales. However, at its April 2022 meeting, AWMSG decided to suspend the appraisal of antimicrobials from Friday, 29th April 2022 until such time that AWMSG has considered the new NICE methodology. Recognising the importance of antimicrobial stewardship, for an individual patient the prescribing of antimicrobials not previously appraised or not previously recommended by AWMSG (or NICE) should be done in consultation with a microbiologist and the patient and/or guardian or carer, and based on the best available evidence. In such an emergency clinical circumstance, following microbiologist advice, access to an antimicrobial will not be denied or delayed.
AWMSG retains the right to request a submission for appraisal of any antimicrobial medicine, when directed by the AWMSG Steering Committee.