NICE changes to its methods and processes
Insider Insights

UK: NICE Board approves changes to its methods and processes


The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)’s Board on 19th January 2022 approved changes to the way it evaluates medicines for use in the National Health Service (NHS) with a view to ensuring faster and more equitable access to new treatments for patients

The changes cover how topics are chosen, the steps and stages in each evaluation (processes) and how evidence is collected and considered (methodologies). The development comes after a public consultation on the draft proposals, following a rolling review that began in 2019.

According to NICE, the key changes being implemented include:

  • Giving additional weight to health benefits in the most severe conditions (not just to treatments used at the end-of-life)
  • Adopting new approaches to the evidence NICE considers as part of its assessments, for example improving how it considers real-world evidence
  • Allowing more flexibility for NICE’s independent committees in instances where it is difficult to generate enough evidence
  • Adopting clearer routing criteria for treatments for very rare diseases to be evaluated under the Highly Specialised Technologies (HST) programme
  • Ensuring earlier engagement in relation to commercial/managed access proposals.

Commenting on the changes, NICE chief executive Professor Gillian Leng stated, “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. The changes that we are making 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 changes came into effect on 1st February 2022.

Read our full article on the changes here.

Sources:, “NICE signals commitment to greater flexibility in its evaluation of promising new health technologies and making patient access fairer”, 20th January 2022

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