NICE postpones majority of technology appraisals due to Covid-19
NICE have recently confirmed that during this time they will be prioritising and only publishing work that is either therapeutically critical or relates to addressing COVID-19 diagnostic or therapeutic interventions. The reason for taking this approach is to avoid distracting the NHS at a time when it is facing unprecedented pressure and to release front line staff who might otherwise be engaged in our committees or guidance development.
Essentially all technology appraisals involving a cancer medicine are considered therapeutically critical, except for cancer drugs fund reviews. A small number of non-cancer medicines have also been designated as therapeutically critical.
NICE staff will continue to work on developing guidance that hasn’t been considered therapeutically critical or related to COVID-19 as much as they can where it does not require committee or engagement with front line health and care service staff.
The re-prioritisation of the work programme to focus on therapeutically critical topics has meant that NICE will not be holding Technology Appraisal committee meetings in April 2020, at a time when the NHS is predicted to be under extreme pressure. The May 2020 committee meetings remain scheduled although they will be held virtually (via Zoom) instead of face to face.