NICE

The OHE has just 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 UK study are outlined in this post.

Obesity is an increasing challenge in England, as elsewhere. OHE has completed a study that examines PCT practice and the cost savings that could accrue if NICE guidance was followed more closely.

Every country around the globe struggles with attaining an appropriate balance between providing affordable health care and ensuring access to medical advances. In a recent article in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Prof Adrian Towse examines the issues from a UK perspective. Managing and containing costs in the NHS is a perennial challenge. Far less clear is how to accomplish this while still ensuring sufficient incentives for timely access to new medical therapies, particularly new medicines.

Debate continues about the methods that the UK’s NICE uses in its appraisals of medical technologies, including whether effects beyond the NHS should be considered using a cost-benefit approach. Examining economic appraisal guidelines issued by other official agencies offers an important opportunity to set NICE’s perspective in context. Ruth Puig-Peiró, an economist at the OHE, is engaged in research that examines how and how much various official UK guidelines differ.

QALY measures have become important tools in valuing health interventions so that resource allocations can be made. Current methods, however, may not adequately capture QALYs for cancer patients, particularly in the last years of life. This post reviews the issues and suggests next steps.

HTAinSite is a unique resource that enables subscribers to quickly find relevant information on NICE technology appraisal (TA) decisions and the evidence used to support them. Launched in May 2009, the project is a collaboration involving the OHE, City University London and Abacus International.

Tensions between broad access to new medical technologies and efforts to contain health care costs are perennial. In recent years, this has become evident in the uncomfortable discontinuities that can occur between health technology assessment (HTA) and regulatory approval of medicines. In autumn 2009, OHE and the Institute for Regulatory Science at CMR International collaborated on a two-day workshop on the issues raised.

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