Pharma is reaching a point in time where real world data is invaluable, having already disrupted several working processes.

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the latest organisation to extend its uses of real world data, to help inform its independent committees who produce its guidance.

The institute already makes use of a wide range of published scientific evidence for its guidance for the NHS on health technologies and its advisory guidelines which demonstrate best practice for diagnosing and managing a range of conditions.

The governing body is now proposing to extend its use of data, from sources including hospital records of operations, registries which collect data on how particular treatments are used, surveys of people using services and data collected on national trends, such as how many people have a condition.

In a release, NICE said that it believes it will help them to further improve guidances, update them more quickly, and have a better understanding of the impact it has for people accessing health and social care services.

A spokesman for the organisation told PharmaTimes that although the organisation already make use of these data sources, it is "exploring the ways in which this could be extended further, as data quality improves and techniques advance."

They continued, "We want to be able to reduce the evidence gaps which could be addressed with data analysis of information which is already held in the health and social care system.

"NICE could undertake or commission work that addresses specific evidence gaps identified by our committees, so that recommendations can be made before the guidance is published. Alternatively, this work could inform future updates of the guidance.

"By using a broader range of data sources we could monitor and evaluate the medium and long term effects of interventions, improve the way we track how guidance is implemented and used in practice, better understand the experiences of people using services, and potentially update parts of our guidance more efficiently."

A consultation has begun on NICE’s Statement of Intent, which set out the ways in which they already use data in our work, and how they would like to extend this in the future. The consultation will be open until Friday 13 September.

Find the consultation details here: