The papers in this book are based on the proceedings of a workshop jointly organised by the OHE and the King’s Fund and hosted by the King’s Fund on 1 March 2002.

The authors of the papers that make up this book were asked to address a specific question: ‘Ought NICE to have a threshold incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER)?’ -with an implicit second question ‘Should the threshold be explicit?’

Since its inception, NICE (the National Institute for Clinical Excellence) has made a very firm and public commitment to maximise the openness and transparency of its criteria and the processes through which they are developed and applied. It therefore seems uncontroversial that any such threshold ought to be explicit