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NICE forced to delay its BP guidance

NICE has delayed publication of its updated hypertension guidance after receiving a flood of consultation responses to the controversial draft document.

The final guidance, which was due at the end of this month, will not be published until the end of June to give NICE time to reconcile the conflicting views.

As Pulse reported in March, a series of responses demanded the institute go back to the drawing board after it initially recommended calcium channel blockers should be chosen over diuretics as first-line treatment.

The controversy over the draft guidance has sparked worldwide interest, with reports in medical publications as far away as New Zealand.

Professor Peter Littlejohns, NICE clinical and public health director and executive lead for the guideline, said: 'The sheer volume of comments, and the need to consider these properly, has meant we have had to extend our timelines by one month. It is essential the final product is robust, reflects the most up-to-date clinical evidence and is fit for purpose.'

Dr Rubin Minhas, a GP in Gillingham, Kent, and CHD lead for Medway PCT, said: 'It's good that NICE is listening to grass-roots GPs.'

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