The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has launched a public consultation on proposals for change, made as part of its process review.

In a statement, NICE said that this is the third such consultation on proposals for changes to the methods and processes used to produce its guidance on health technologies.

These proposal will explore opportunities to align current guidance programme processes, as well as introduce new process improvements and ways of working.

In addition, NICE has outlined a case for improvement in its commercial and managed access processes, as well as refining its criteria for selecting topics for evaluation through its Highly Specialised Technologies programme.

“To continue to support the needs and aspirations of all parts of the healthcare and life sciences ecosystem, NICE must ensure that its processes of health technology evaluation maintain and improve upon key objectives regarding quality, dependability, speed, flexibility and cost,” said Meindert Boysen, deputy chief executive and director of the Centre for Health Technology Assessment at NICE.

“These proposals present an important opportunity to achieve these objectives. By doing so, not only will NICE be better able to support patients and the NHS in accessing clinically and cost-effective health technologies, it will also ensure that we can play our part in ensuring the UK remains a first-launch country for important and promising new health technologies,” he added.

In response to the launch of the NICE process review, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry’s (ABPI) director of Value and Access Policy Paul Catchpole commented: “We should use the opportunity of the process review to deliver greater consistency, predictability, and rigour in how companies experience working with NICE in the future.”

“This will include making sure there are efficient and timely engagement mechanisms throughout appraisals so that the right decisions are made for patients, at the right time,” he added.