Scottish Government draft budget

The Scottish Government have announced the draft budget plans for 2018-19. The spending plans have still to be approved by the Scottish Parliament. The budget plans for Health and Sport are detailed in chapter 5 of the document. Amongst the headline figures is an increase in health funding of more than £400m.

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Briefing on air pollution

The House of Commons Library has published a briefing on the UK Government’s efforts to meet air pollution targets, particularly nitrogen dioxide. It has been estimated that the annual cost of health problems resulting from exposure to air pollution in the UK exceeds £20 billion, and this briefing sets out the UK government’s obligations and response.

HTA reimbursement procedures

The European Network for Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA) has published an analysis of HTA and reimbursement procedures in EUnetHTA partner countries. The study identifies differences in working practices for the assessment of pharmaceuticals and non-pharmaceutical health technologies. Data were received from 59 agencies in 31 EUnetHTA partner countries.

NICE launch PRIMA

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has launched the Preliminary Independent Model Advice (PRIMA) service to ‘health-check’ economic models. PRIMA is a fee-based consultancy service offering a detailed peer review service to help developers of drugs, medical devices and diagnostics, and public health interventions ensure the quality of their model structure, coding, usability and transparency.

Vital events quarterly update and alcohol-specific deaths

The National Records of Scotland have released the figures for births, deaths and other vital events for the third quarter of 2017. The statistics include births, stillbirths, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths, including cause of death. They show that over the longer term, deaths from coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease have decreased considerably whilst the number of deaths from cancer and respiratory disease has risen slightly. There has been a relatively large increase in the number of deaths from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease with such deaths now accounting for around 10% of all deaths compared to 5% a decade ago.

The numbers of deaths that are alcohol-specific are detailed in the statistics. These are based on the new National Statistics definition.