- On Monday April 19, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) launched its 5-year strategy with a virtual webinar
- The strategy aims to keep ahead of the challenges of a rapidly changing health and care landscape, allowing NICE to evolve from producing full guidelines to adopting a more modular, living style of recommendations, allowing rapid updates that incorporate the latest evidence to reach healthcare professionals faster than ever before
- The key elements have been divided into four pillars of work – Rapid, robust, and responsive technology evaluation, dynamic, living guideline recommendations, effective guidance uptake to maximize our impact and leadership in data, research, and science
LONDON, United Kingdom – On Monday April 19, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) launched its 5-year strategy with a virtual webinar.
The strategy aims to keep ahead of the challenges of a rapidly changing health and care landscape, allowing NICE to evolve from producing full guidelines to adopting a more modular, living style of recommendations, allowing rapid updates that incorporate the latest evidence to reach healthcare professionals faster than ever before.
Speaking at the event, NICE Chief Executive, Professor Gillian Leng, called it an “exciting time,” but noted that the “pandemic response created challenges for all of us.”
“As we move forward, we will absolutely ensure that we protect or robust independent approach to evidence evaluation, and we are committed to ensuring that NICE continues to be a world leader so that we can play our part in ensuring improvement in health and wellbeing across the UK but also globally. But our dedication to speed and efficiency as well as robustness and independence means that we will have to transform some key elements of how we work.”
The key elements have been divided into four pillars of work:
- Rapid, robust, and responsive technology evaluation
- Dynamic, living guideline recommendations
- Effective guidance uptake to maximize our impact
- Leadership in data, research, and science
Gillian continued, “The key to delivering this strategy will be collaboration. Working with partner organizations – building on the existing relationships that we already have in place and forging new ones to expand our skills and capabilities. It will be a busy but a positive future.”
Meindert Boysen, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation also spoke at the panel, noting: “that the plan positions NICE at the forefront of anticipating and evaluating emerging and new technologies. It will lead to world-leading assessments of value and improved access for patients.”
“We will work closely with colleagues in the MHRA and NHS England to develop a runway for innovative new technologies, drawing on the experience of the work we have done during COVID-19 and the launch of the Innovative Licensing and Access Pathway (ILAP).”
“We will increase access to promising and valuable new technologies by managing uncertainty and risk, and invest in our data and analytics capabilities, our interest in real-world evidence, and participation in managed access funds – drawing on the great success of the UK’s Cancer Drugs Fund.”
For industry, these changes could entail a new “front door” for life sciences that will help guide industry to the relevant programs to support a company’s journey to market access. This will include a dedicated office for digital health, Boysen confirmed, as well as additional collaboration with other healthcare players and commissioning flexibilities to enable earlier patient access.
NICE recently published the 2021-2026 strategy, which outlines the agency’s trajectory over the next five years in consideration of lessons learned during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
According to the group, the pandemic “provided a catalyst for the type of change that we already knew we needed to make,” including expediting access to new treatments and technologies and integrating real-world data (RWD) into evaluations.
With this strategy, NICE has “A renewed determination to prioritize our work to reduce those health inequalities that have been highlighted during the pandemic, to work seamlessly across boundaries, to reduce bureaucracy, and to speed up access to the latest and most effective treatments,” explained NICE Chair Sharmila Nebhrajani and Leng.
Below is an overview of NICE’s strategic roadmap, including key measures, for 2021-2026.
Rapid, robust, and responsive technology evaluation
- Implement revised NICE process and methods manual for technologies with Innovative Licensing and Access Pathway (ILAP) and Innovative Medicines Fund arrangements
- Launch new Office for Digital Health
- Develop beta version of the Life Sciences Hub
- Develop targeted processes and methods for cell and gene therapies, artificial intelligence, and genomics
- Build on joint working with national and international HTA bodies
- Develop managed access pathways for medical technologies (including digital)
- Improve rapid access to new technologies, aiming for an equivalent approach for medical devices, diagnostics, and digital technologies
- Realize a new, dynamic approach to health technology evaluation and management, fully aligned with living guidelines and data analytics
Dynamic, living guideline recommendations
- Identify and adopt selected guidance authoring tool
- Products selected guidelines in new interactive format
- Establish cross-agency panel on priority topics
- Incorporate HTAs into practice recommendations
- Present recommendations in interactive format
- Establish advisory committees for all key topic suites
- Publish consolidated portfolio of high priority recommendations that are rapidly updated, interactive, and easy to access
- Publish integrated guidelines on key topics
Effective guidance uptake to maximize our impact
- Develop new implementation strategy
- Complete patient safety review and policy
- Explore a partnership to improve access to guidelines
- Embed NICE guidance in partners’ regulation, monitoring, and improvement frameworks
- Build links with academic units to be at forefront of implementation science and support evaluation
- Embed NICE guidance in decision support systems
- Ensure fully automated monitoring of device compliance, impact, and value
Leadership in data, research, and science
- Establish research and data partnerships
- Establish “NICE Listens” program
- Explore options for citable publications platform
- Develop RWD data methods and standards program
- Develop approach to considering environmental impact
- Publish evidence reviews and economic analyses
- Develop position as a though leader and research active organization in health technology assessment (HTA) methods and guidelines, including environmental impact
- Consolidate role as a global leader in patient and public engagement
Opening the virtual event, Sharmila Nebhrajani OBE, NICE chairman said: “The healthcare of the future will look radically different from today – new therapies will combine pills with technologies, genomic medicine will make early disease detection a reality and AI and machine learning will bring digital health in disease prevention and self-care to the fore.
“Our new strategy will help us respond to these advances, finding new and more flexible ways to evaluate products and therapies for use in the NHS, ensuring that the most innovative and clinically effective treatments are available to patients at a price the taxpayer can afford.”
Later in the discussion, she further elaborated on the point: “We are on the cusp of a big change in not just the care model, but in what we mean by health. We’ve touched a little bit on prevention, and we have touched a little bit on diagnostics, early detection, and screening. What we’re seeing is the health system is changing from care for sickness and tackling illness, to thinking about wellness and tackling prevention as well as early diagnostics.
“Those things are critical for NICE, and I think we are reflecting them in our technology approvals and guidelines in the new strategy. They also speak to the change care model, the shift to self-care and the critical drive to tackle inequalities.”