NICE to assess medical technologies

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has launched a programme aimed at evaluating new medical technologies.

The Evaluation Pathway Programme for Medical Technologies is expected to work alongside NICE’s existing technology-appraisal system, which will continue to evaluate new pharmaceutical and biotechnology products.

It is hoped the initiative will enable innovative medical technologies, such as implants and diagnostic devices, and enable modifications to existing ones so that they can be released more rapidly into the NHS.

Andrew Dillon, chief executive of NICE, said: ‘“High quality care for all” acknowledged the need to simplify the pathway by which medical technologies pass from development into wider use and develop ways to benchmark and monitor uptake.

‘This new programme takes forward that vision and we look forward to helping patients and the NHS to benefit more quickly and consistently from innovative medical technologies.’

The scheme will support the newly created Medical Technologies Advisory Committee that identifies medical technologies and routes them through the appropriate NICE guidance programme.

Mark Samuels from the British In-Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA) said: ‘The creation of the Evaluation Pathway Programme has been a collaborative process, bringing together expertise from NICE, the medical-technologies industry, the Department of Health and the Centre for Evidence-based Purchasing.

‘This is a significant development in the relationship between industry and NICE, which can only benefit the NHS.

‘The programme will make it easier for the NHS to understand which new medical technologies, including devices and diagnostics, potentially offer significant benefits to patients.’