Our view of the latest NICE Methods & Process Review

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is launching its final consultation on proposed changes to the way it develops recommendations across its health technology evaluation programmes.

Dr Paul Catchpole, Director of Value and Access Policy at the ABPI, shares the pharmaceutical industry’s view:

This is a major milestone and the three consultations launched today each present a significant opportunity to ensure NICE’s methods and processes are cutting edge and able to support NHS patients having timely access to life changing medicines, whilst delivering on the ambition set out in the UK’s Life Sciences Vision.

On proposed changes to NICE’s processes:

A good balance has been struck in the process consultation proposals, retaining and building on NICE’s rigorous and inclusive technology appraisal processes, whilst providing opportunities to support faster access to the most promising new medicines.

Early and better engagement with companies during appraisals remains essential, and industry will be seeking commitment to a set of changes which deliver real improvements, without compromising on the robustness of appraisals or on stakeholder engagement.

On proposed changes to NICE’s Highly Specialised Technologies (HST) evaluations:

The ambition set out for NICE’s HST evaluation programme needs to be strengthened so that more patients with very rare and disabling diseases can get the medicines they need. The proposals currently miss an important opportunity to better meet the needs of these patients and are disappointing for those with very rare diseases.

On proposed changes to NICE’s appraisal methods:

The wide-ranging proposals on NICE appraisal methods will be very helpful, but more should be done to deliver a more ambitious set of changes in specific areas, such as on the introduction of a new severity modifier so that more patients with challenging diseases benefit.

We are disappointed that proposals to appropriately value the long-term benefits of potentially curative treatments such as cell and gene therapies has been missed. This will set the UK back in becoming a world leader in the development, manufacturing, evaluation and adoption of these and other ground-breaking treatments.

The Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access (VPAS) which caps spend on medicines up until the end of 2023 means that a more ambitious set of changes than those proposed can be put in place from 2022 and at no additional cost to the system.

The ABPI will be working with our members over the coming weeks to help make sure the review uses every opportunity to deliver more meaningful change for the benefit of patients and the NHS.

Read more on NICE's website.

  • Access
  • NICE
  • NICE Methods Review

Last modified: 20 September 2023

Last reviewed: 20 September 2023