The Northern (NHS) Treatment Advisory Group (NTAG) was formed in February 2014. The purpose of NTAG is to advise member commissioning organisations on the clinical and cost-effectiveness of new and existing treatments, thereby ensuring equitable access to a clinically defined and appropriate range of treatments for the relevant patient population.
NTAG is a subgroup of the North East & North Cumbria ICB Medicines Subcommittee. It makes recommendations to the ICB Medicines Subcommittee to approve or reject formulary amendments, guidelines involving medicines, and formulary applications presented to it for consideration. Recommendations are based upon proven clinical outcomes, value for money and affordability.
NTAG continues the work of the former North East Treatment Advisory Group (NETAG) and it brings together clinical expertise, patients and commissioning representatives, to make recommendations on the commissioning of treatments within NHS North East and North Cumbria.
Meetings are scheduled six times per year although additional meetings can be called to consider urgent issues. Representation has been drawn from throughout NHS North East & North Cumbria, both geographically and strategically (i.e. primary and specialist care, providers and commissioners). This provides the group with a wide range of experience and expertise, ensuring fair and comprehensive treatment appraisals.
Professional secretarial support to the group is provided by the Regional Drug and Therapeutics Centre (Newcastle) who also help facilitate and support the work plan.
NTAG has a remit to consider ICS commissioned treatments only; this includes non-pharmaceutical treatments available on prescription such as medical devices.
In summary, the group aims to improve equity of access within NHS North East & North Cumbria for medicines and prescribable medical devices.