The Court of Appeal today allowed an appeal by Servier Laboratories Ltd, which had challenged a decision of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), the body which recommends treatments for use on the NHS. The Court held that NICE had given no adequate reason for rejecting Servier's evidence as to the efficacy of its drug strontium ranelate, which is used to treat osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. Reasons were required when departing from the view of a body of similar standing, such as the European Medicines Agency. Lady Justice Smith, with whom Lords Justices Pill and Wilson agreed, expressed "grave doubts" as to the rationality of the decision and held that NICE must now take a fresh decision.
The judgment is here.
Martin Chamberlain was junior counsel for Servier.