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PJ Online | News: Topics for NICE appraisal should be in line with NHS priorities

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The Pharmaceutical Journal
Vol 268 No 7204 p895-899
29 June 2002

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National Institute for Clinical Excellence (

Topics for NICE appraisal should be in line with NHS priorities

Topics selected for review by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence should be in line with national service frameworks and there should be a move away from focusing on individual products, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry believes.

The ABPI's suggestion is just one of a number of ideas that it has put to the Department of Health, as part of a consultation exercise on how the appraisal process and selection of topics should be reformed (PJ, 9 March, p315).

In NICE's own response to the DoH consultation it welcomed moves to make the process of selecting topics more open and transparent, and agreed that the selection of topics should more closely follow priorities for the National Health Service.

The institute also said that anyone with an interest in the workings of NICE should be able to recommend topics for selection, and has urged the DoH to consider a further consultation on the selection of topics for clinical guidelines.

NICE has also backed DoH proposals to refer new technologies at an earlier stage, and has suggested that drugs entering phase III trials should be brought to the attention of the technology appraisals group.

However, the ABPI remains concerned by the proposals to appraise new pharmaceuticals at such an early stage. It said that in some cases NICE was appraising medicines too early, using either an immature or inadequate evidence base from which it was difficult to draw conclusions.

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