The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has launched a public consultation on proposed changes to the way it assesses health technology.

The consultation is open until 13 October and includes several changes which will ensure the institute (NICE) evolves alongside the technological advances being seen in medicines and data.

A number of key opportunities for improvement have been identified and NICE is now seeking feedback on potential changes. These opportunities include:

  • Implementing a severity modifier to replace the current end of life modifier.
  • Putting more emphasis on the role of a comprehensive evidence base.
  • Making broad and comprehensive improvements in how evidence is collected, presented and considered.
  • Proposals to make the processes of health technology evaluation more flexible and responsive.

By focusing on these areas NICE hopes to provide greater predictability for industry, greater transparency for stakeholders, and make it easier for its committees to make swift decisions.

Professor Gillian Leng, NICE’s chief executive, said: “As NICE grows in importance for the health service in England, so do expectations from all our stakeholders for what our methods and processes can do for them.

“Chief among these is how we can reflect and enable the broader vision of the life sciences industry, patients and the service for accelerated access to innovative health technologies while managing risk and ensuring the NHS gets value for money.

“Taken together, these proposals will bolster the ability of NICE to support access to valuable innovative technologies that bring health benefits for patients and good value to the NHS – staying robust, efficient and future-proof to meet the challenges of advances in health technologies.”

Following the consultation NICE has confirmed it will move to a modular approach for updating its methods and processes in a bid to ensure it can adapt to new innovations.

Meindert Boysen, deputy chief executive and director of the centre for health technology evaluation at NICE, added: “Operating at the interface between the world in which new treatments are developed and the NHS in which they are used, NICE occupies a unique position in managing the lifecycle of innovative health technologies.

“Ensuring that our methods and processes are clear, transparent and predictable, these proposals further emphasise our commitment to making the journey for promising new health technologies even faster, and patient access fairer.”

The consultation follows NICE publishing an updated version of its framework for digital health technologies, which covered evidence standards for both the clinical and economic impact of new technologies, and the evidence needed to implement them within the NHS.

You can find out more about how to take part in the consultation here.