NICE

According to the 1999 UK Department of Health consultation document, the fundamental purpose of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) was to reduce inequalities in access to innovative care and ensure more rapid access to medicines identified as being of value to the NHS. Since NICE’s debut in April 1999, several analyses have examined the uptake of technologies that have been considered by NICE, but no evidence had been published on whether and how NICE’s health technology appraisal (HTA) processes may have affected the speed of access to new treatments.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) routinely publishes details of the evidence and reasoning underpinning its recommendations, including its social value judgments. To date, however, although the principles related to cost-effectiveness are relatively explicit, those covering equity concerns generally are less specific.

During the last quarter of 2011, OHE team members were involved in discussions and presentations in a range of forums, covering each of OHE's three areas of focus. This post reviews their activities.

This is the first in a series of posts that will review OHE’s contributions to advancing thought and stimulating innovative ideas in its three key research areas: financing and delivery of health care, HTA methods and processes, and the economics of the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries.

In forthcoming chapter in the Oxford Handbook on the Economics of the Biopharmaceutical Industry, experts in the field outline the evolution of cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) through its use as part of health technology assessment. The authors also explore the theoretical and practical issues that have arisen as the result of using CEA of drugs to make decisions about resource allocation, pricing and use and offer some important recommendations.

Just released is an OHE Research Paper that examines whether and how decisions about allocating resources for health care differ across the NHS and, particularly, in comparison to decisions by NICE. If important differences exist, the efficiency of resources allocation may be affected negatively.

This OHE publication is intended to inform and stimulate debate about the way different sorts of evidence and considerations are taken into account in decisions about new health care technologies. The authors argue for greater use of multiple criteria decision analysis (MCDA) as an aid to decision-making that is based on health technology assessment.

Value-based pricing for new medicines, proposed as part of UK health care reform, would create a QALY-plus approach for drugs approved starting 1 January 2014. For new drugs, this would replace the current PPRS system. The implications for pricing and reimbursement, and innovation, are outlined by Prof Towse in this blog post.

Members of the OHE team participated in a number of sessions at ISPOR’s 13th Annual European Congress in November. This post summarizes the contributions of Prof Nancy Devlin, OHE’s Director of Research.

The OHE recently published reports on the vaccines markets in Australia and in the UK, originally prepared as case studies for a project funded by the Federal German Ministry of Health (Bundesgesundheitsministerium). The main findings of the Australian study are outlined in this post.

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