NICE also aims to make strides in digital, genomic and antimicrobial technologies

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is committed to greater flexibility in its evaluation process of new and promising health technologies. The institute is also aiming to increase patient accessibility and greater equality of access.

Changes in the way medicines and other health technologies are evaluated for use by the NHS are expected to be approved by the NICE board imminently. If the green light is given, changes will come into effect early next month for new evaluations.

These will give patients earlier access to innovative new treatments by allowing greater flexibility over ‘value for money’ discussions. They will also consider a broader evidence base, provide more transparency and enable faster decision-making for NICE’s independent committees.

“Our vision at NICE is to be at the forefront of delivering access for patients in the NHS to valuable, evidence-based innovative medicines, medical devices and diagnostics,” said Professor Gillian Leng, NICE chief executive. “The changes being discussed will provide a robust foundation for our evaluations now and in the future and enable us to continue to lead the way in rapid, independent health technology assessments.”

The board meeting marks the culmination of one of the largest and most thorough reviews of all aspects of NICE’s health technology evaluations ever taken, covering how topics are chosen, steps and stages in each evaluation and how evidence is collected and considered.

“But they are not the end of the story,” Professor Leng continued. “We will explore the impacts and benefits of updated methods and processes. We need to ensure they are effectively implemented in order to realise the benefits for NICE, the NHS and the wider stakeholder community, as well as supporting the government’s wider vision for life sciences.”

In further modernisation plans, NICE also aims to make strides in digital, genomic and antimicrobial technologies. Evidently, 2022 is going to be one of the most evolutionary and forward-thinking chapters of the institution’s illustrious history.