The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is giving stakeholders, healthcare professionals and members of the public the chance to express their opinions on a draft version of its updated appraisals guide.

The Institute’s Guide to the methods of technology appraisal is designed to lay out the principles and methods it uses when assessing the cost effectiveness of medicines and other health technologies on the National Health Service, and is aimed at independent advisory committees as well as all those involved in submitting evidence and commenting on draft recommendations.

“NICE is the global leader in evaluating the benefits of new drugs and treatment. Our methods guide underpins the development of all of our appraisal guidance, it is therefore very important that we regularly review it to take into account the latest research and to reflect changes in healthcare economics,” said Carole Longson, Health Technology Evaluation Centre Director, explaining the move.

“This review has been a valuable process which has enabled us to incorporate the views of a variety of stakeholders,” she added. The consultation period will close on February 29 next year.

Inquiry ongoing
The Institute’s processes are currently under scrutiny by the House of Commons Health Select Committee, which is currently conducting a second inquiry into the organisation.

Specifically, the new enquiry is seeking to examine: why NICE decisions are increasingly being challenged; whether public confidence in the Institute is waning and, if so, why; NICE’s evaluation process, and whether any particular groups are disadvantaged by the process; the speed of publishing guidance; the appeal system; comparison with the work of the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network; and the implementation of NICE guidance, both technology appraisals and clinical guidelines, namely which guidance is acted on, which is not and the reasons for this.