The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry has called for a change in the remit of NICE, to equip it for the future ‘value-based’ era envisaged by Government. Speaking today at the Westminster Health Forum, which is holding a seminar on the changing role of NICE, Dr Richard Barker, Director General of the ABPI, sets out a three-point plan for the future:

  • ​Broaden NICE’s definition of value to capture all the key elements of healthcare innovation, and reflect uncertainties in early assessment of medicines in value ranges.
  • Refocus attention on clinical best practice and quality standards and how innovation can advance both.
  • Dismantle NHS processes that ‘second-guess’ NICE conclusions.

“As debate begins on the design of a future ‘value-based’ approach to how the NHS pays for medicines, it’s vital we have a parallel debate on the role and focus of NICE.” says Dr Richard Barker.

“NICE has pioneered rigorous cost-effectiveness calculations, but many medicines that improve clinical practice and patient outcomes have struggled to enter the NHS – despite UK prices that are lower than elsewhere in Europe. An advanced economy such as ours needs to take a broader view of the value that medicines bring in improving patient outcomes.“

“If we want the NHS and the UK economy to benefit from a vigorous life sciences sector, the reshaping of NICE’s remit is an urgent priority. A focus on the future value of innovation, rather than decisions made on narrow cost-effectiveness criteria, would mean that NICE could play an important pivotal role in an outcomes-driven NHS.”

The ABPI is ready for a broad, constructive dialogue with Government to improve access for NHS patients to new medicines. How they are reimbursed is one factor, but how they are built into NICE’s view of clinical best practice and quality standards, and then brought into wide use in the NHS, will clearly be of equal importance.


Notes to Editors:

For further information on the Westminster Health Forum Seminar, visit:

For further information, please contact the ABPI press office: 020 7747 1410.


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