The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has begun a formal consultation on proposed changes to the way it makes recommendations on new medicines and other treatments for use in the NHS. NICE assesses the clinical and cost effectiveness of new technologies to help ensure patients have access to effective treatments and the NHS makes the best use of its resources.
The new proposals include ways to take into account more systematically and explicitly the severity of a disease, as well as the effect that diseases and conditions have on our capacity to engage in society.
Sir Andrew Dillon, chief executive of NICE, said, “These proposed changes to the way we value new treatments will add further clarity to our recommendations and enable our independent advisory committees to explore more fully the potential these treatments have to improve outcomes for patients.”
The proposals outlined in the consultation have been developed taking into account the need to ensure consistency, predictability and transparency in the judgments made by independent appraisal committees when they consider the clinical and cost effectiveness of health technologies.
The consultation makes clear that the appraisal committees will not use the age of people with particular conditions to make the difference between whether a new treatments is recommended or not. Similarly they will not use gender or any of the other “protected” characteristics under equalities legislation. In October 2012, the government implemented a ban on age discrimination in the NHS.
NICE wants to hear from those interested in the appraisal of health technologies, including patients, caregivers, patient groups, clinicians, academics, economists, industry and members of the public to help ensure NICE's processes are robust and fair. The consultation will last from March 27 to June 20.