Changes we're making to health technology evaluation

We've now published our updated manuals for methods, processes and topic selection.

They cover:

  • how we choose medicines and other health technologies to evaluate (topic selection)
  • the steps and stages in each evaluation (our processes)
  • how we collect and consider evidence (our methods).

The new methods and processes are used for all new evaluations starting from 1 February.

What's changed and why

The changes we've made aim to streamline and improve the way we carry out health technology evaluation. We've now produced a single guidance development manual, covering:

  • diagnostic assessment
  • highly specialised technologies
  • medical technologies evaluation
  • technology appraisal.

We've also developed a new topic selection manual.

Changes we've made

We've made a broad range of improvements to how we evaluate health technologies, including:

  • We'll give more weight to health benefits in the most severe conditions. We've made this change because evidence shows that people in the UK value access to treatments for the most severe diseases.
  • We're adopting a new approach to the evidence we consider in our assessments.
  • We’re allowing more flexibility for NICE’s independent committees in cases when generating evidence is difficult.
  • We’ve adopted a clearer vision, principles and routing criteria for treatments for very rare diseases in our Highly Specialised Technologies (HST) Programme.
  • We're aligning our methods and processes across different types of evaluations. This will ensure that the way we evaluate health technologies is pragmatic, agile and robust, while also being adaptable.

Evidence and considerations

We've carefully reviewed evidence and conducted thorough consultations to inform the changes we've made.

We've previously consulted on: