Application for a UK NICE Guideline for Fibromyalgia Syndrome is Unsuccessful
The application for a NICE Guideline on Fibromyalgia Syndrome to be developed has been rejected by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), it was revealed at a parliamentary debate yesterday.
The application was submitted by FMA UK and Dr Kim Lawson PhD, a member of the Advisory Boards of both FibroAction and FMA UK, in July 2007. No reponse was forthcoming from NICE until yesterday's Westminster Hall debate on Fibro was announced, when NICE responded to say that the application had been unsuccessful.
Although NICE Guidelines for a condition would usually include a care pathway for diagnosis, which would be of help to UK Fibro sufferers, it must be remembered that the role of NICE is to decide on what approaches are most cost effective.
This was brought up in yesterday's Westminster Hall debate on Fibro and it remains a concern that, while many doctors do not have an up-to-date understanding of Fibro and while there are no medications with marketing approval in the EU specifically for Fibro, a NICE Guideline may be more of a hindrance than a help. This is especially true given the cost implications as some of the newer medications for Fibro are relatively expensive, whereas widely used but not hugely effective old medications, such as amitriptyline, are relatively cheap. At this stage, a NICE Guideline may serve to recommend that the more expensive treatments for Fibro are not tried until there is more European evidence for their cost-effectiveness.