About technology appraisals
Technology appraisals are recommendations on the use of new and existing medicines and treatments within the NHS, such as:
- medical devices (for example, hearing aids or inhalers)
- diagnostic techniques (tests used to identify diseases)
- surgical procedures (such as repairing hernias)
- health promotion activities (for example, ways of helping people with diabetes manage their condition).
We base our recommendations on a review of clinical and economic evidence.
- Clinical evidence measures how well the medicine or treatment works.
- 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?
Aim of technology appraisals
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. Our 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.
Technology appraisal decisions
Each technology appraisal may contain more than one recommendation. We classify our recommendations into four categories:
- only in research
- not recommended.
Versions of technology appraisals
NICE produces three versions of its technology appraisals: the full appraisal presents the recommendations from
- the full version in a format suited to implementation by health professionals and NHS bodies
- the quick reference guide presents recommendations in a suitable format for health professionals
- information for the public is written for using suitable language for people without specialist medical knowledge.
Read more about
- Developing NICE technology appraisals
- Published appraisals
- Appraisals in development
- Technology appraisal decisions
- Observing a meeting
This page was last updated: 24 July 2013