The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is the independent organisation responsible for providing national guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention and treatment of ill health.
NICE produces guidance in three areas of health:
- public health
- clinical practice, and
- health technologies – guidance on the use of new and existing medicines, treatments and procedures within the NHS
Technology appraisals base their recommendations on a review of clinical and economic evidence. Clinical evidence measures how well the medicine or treatment works, and economic evidence measures how well the medicine or treatment works in relation to how much it costs the NHS – does it represent value for money?
NICE is asked to look at particular drugs and devices when the availability of the drug or device varies across the country. This may be because of different local prescribing or funding policies, or because there is confusion or uncertainty over its value. NICE’s advice ends the uncertainty and helps to standardise access to healthcare across the country.
THE NHS IS LEGALLY OBLIGED TO FUND AND RESOURCE MEDICINES AND TREATMENTS RECOMMENDED BY NICE’S TECHNOLOGY APPRAISALS.