Mary Gabb, Editor

When I first read of the updated guidance from the UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) on their technology appeals process, I must admit – I yawned. It is important information…but, as an editor, it doesn’t exactly make for a sexy headline.

The temptation is to ignore such news, relegating it to the reading piles of health care policy wonks/boffins. But, guidance rules and appeals procedures affect and are important to several stakeholders – developers and manufacturers, health care providers, and patients. When you’ve got skin in the game (ie, when you have invested thousands of hours and enormous sums of money in trying to bring a new product to market), you want to know that everyone is playing by the same rules, and that you are getting fair consideration. Patients depend on appropriate NHS guidance to know they are getting the best treatment available and that their tax dollars are being correctly and fairly used to critically evaluate each new therapy or intervention, to get the best value for the pound (or dollar or euro as other countries study NICE procedures for possible use in their own countries). Health care providers rely on the technology appraisal process to ensure that they have the necessary tools to practice medicine effectively, without worrying about backroom deals or poor oversight.

Sian Claire Owens gives us a brief review of the updated NICE technology appeals guidance. She also spoke with NICE representatives to find out what the update really means for manufacturers.