In 2009, the UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued supplementary advice that its Appraisal Committees are to consider when assessing treatments that extend life at the end of life. The policy thus places additional weight on the survival benefits for a small numbers of patients with terminal illnesses and short life expectancies. It assumes that this accurately reflects the societal preferences of the general public. However, little scientific evidence is available to support that premise. With funding from NICE’s Decision Support Unit, Koonal Shah of the OHE is collaborating with Aki Tsuchiya and Allan Wailoo of the University of Sheffield on initial research to help fill this void.

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.