Technology appraisal guidance

Technology appraisal guidance makes recommendations on the use of new and existing medicines and other treatments within the NHS.

Browse technology appraisal guidance

What the guidance covers

Technology appraisal guidance can cover:

  • medicines
  • medical devices
  • diagnostic techniques
  • surgical procedures
  • health promotion activities.

Types of recommendation

Each technology appraisal may contain more than 1 recommendation. We classify our recommendations into 5 categories:

  • recommended
  • optimised
  • only in research
  • not recommended
  • recommended for use with managed access.

Find out more about the different types of technology appraisal recommendation

What we do

We base our recommendations on a review of clinical evidence and cost effectiveness.

  • Clinical evidence shows how well the medicine or other treatment works and how safe it is.
  • Cost effectiveness shows how well the medicine or other treatment works in relation to how much it costs the NHS - does it represent value for money?

We're asked to look at particular medicines and other treatments when availability 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.

How we develop this guidance

Technology appraisal guidance takes one of 3 forms:

  • A single technology appraisal which covers a single technology for a single indication.
  • A cost comparison which also covers a single technology for a single indication but with a shorter process time. This speeds up access to the most cost-effective new treatments.
  • A multiple technology appraisal which normally covers more than one technology, or one technology for more than one indication.

We've put together an overview of the process we use to develop technology appraisal guidance.

Why this guidance is mandatory

The NHS is legally obliged to fund and resource medicines and other treatments recommended by NICE's technology appraisals.

The NHS Constitution states that patients have the right to medicines and other treatments that have been recommended by NICE for use in the NHS, if their doctor believes they are clinically appropriate.

When NICE recommends a treatment 'as an option', the NHS must make sure it is available within 3 months (unless otherwise specified) of its date of publication.

This means that, if a person has a condition and the doctor responsible for their care thinks that the technology is the right treatment, it should be available for use, in line with NICE's recommendations.

Updating technology appraisal recommendations for COVID-19 medicines (Word)

Information on how NICE will review and update published technology appraisal recommendations for COVID-19 medicines if there are significant changes in the evidence base.