Cost-effectiveness body, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, has announced it will review the way it makes decisions on the use of new drugs and treatments used in the UK’s National Health Service.

The review of the Institute’s Guide to the methods of technology appraisal will take place between April and October of this year. The revised draft will be available for a three-month public consultation, expected to begin in November 2007.

“As the global leader in evaluating the benefits of new drugs and treatments, we are committed to ensuring that our methodologies are up to date, clearly explained and offer stakeholders the opportunity to engage fully in the development of our guidance,” said Andrew Dillon, chief executive of NICE. “This update will give our stakeholders the chance to tell us how they think our approach should evolve so that we can stay at the leading edge of this important work,” he added.

The guide provides an overview of the principles and methods used by NICE to assess health technologies, and is intended for both independent advisory committees that prepare NICE guidance and for organisations that represent patient groups, health professionals and manufacturers that submit evidence and comment on draft recommendations. It is used in conjunction with the Guide to the technology appraisal process and the Guide to the single technology appraisal process, which describe the steps the Institute takes in developing guidance.