Is NICE getting nice?

Written by Tony Cox on Friday 26th July 2019

It’s not very often that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) gets a positive news story in the press. The headlines are usually saved for the more negative appraisals. However, this may be set to change as two welcome consultations show NICE’s support towards the NHS’ goal of providing faster access to new technologies to more patients.

The first consultation outlines how NICE are looking to broaden the sources of data they use to develop their guidance and evaluate its effect.1 This provides companies with the opportunity to include an increased focus on patient centred outcomes and real-world evidence to strengthen the value proposition within their company submissions. Examples of data sources being considered within the consultation include registries, surveys, audits and data from electronic health records. Including this additional evidence and insight within the appraisal process can only strengthen the appraisal process and ultimately benefit the patient.

The second consultation, launched just this week, is the long-awaited review of the health technology appraisal (HTA) evaluation methods NICE uses to develop guidance on drugs, medical devices and diagnostics.2 The consultation will include how NICE should deal with the increasing uncertainty around clinical and cost effectiveness of many new technologies at launch. There has been unprecedented change in the healthcare system, where the introduction of personalised medicine, health digitalisation as well as cell and gene therapies, has challenged the HTA evaluation process. A review of the methods is therefore needed to ensure they are up to date and meet the requirements for fair evaluation of these advances in care.

The consultation covers an initial broad set of topics for review in 2020, including:

  1. The value elements (modifiers) used in decision making
  2. The costs used in health technology assessment
  3. Equality considerations in guidance development
  4. How quality of life is incorporated into economic analyses and considered by committees
  5. Technology-specific issues (for example, addressing the challenges of evaluating the new generation of tumour agnostic therapies)
  6. The methods needed to assess the clinical and cost effectiveness of the position of technologies in the care pathway

So, as technologies are becoming more tailored to individuals, it appears that NICE are following this trend towards patient centricity. This can only be good news for getting the right treatments to the right patients at the right time!

OPEN VIE is a global, technology enabled, evidence and access consultancy, with a focus on patient centricity which works with you to understand, demonstrate and communicate value to drive change. If you would be interested to know how OPEN VIE can support you with your HTA submission, please contact:

Cathy Wright, Director of UK Market Access, OPEN VIE

Tony Cox, Development Director, OPEN VIE

+44 (0) 1628 481112


1. NICE. Consultation on the data and analytics statement of intent. Available at: (accessed July 2019).

2. NICE. NICE announces details of health technology evaluation methods review. (accessed July 2019).