NICE collaborates with international partner agencies to streamline the confidential marking process

NICE, the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health and the US’s Institute for Clinical and Economic Review have today (24 April 2023) announced they are changing the way confidential information about health technologies is handled to streamline processes and increase transparency.

Health technology evaluations must strike a critical balance between ensuring transparency of the evidence and decision-making and protecting confidential information. The 3 organisations operate in different health systems but share common aims and values. Given these similarities, NICE, CADTH and ICER have been working together to create a more consistent approach to handling clinical data. Today they have published a joint statement setting out the changes.

For evaluations of health technologies starting from May 2023, NICE and CADTH will not routinely remove clinical data that is awaiting publication when they develop recommendations/guidance/decisions. A shared list of types of clinical information and whether they will usually be redactable has been defined and is included in the position statement. Each organisation will continue engaging and collaborating with individual companies, recognising that implementing this new position statement may require changes to processes and procedures at their end.

Respecting the different contexts in which the agencies operate, NICE will have its own policies for handling clinical information where there are no publication plans.

This work forms part of NICE’s new proportionate approach to evaluations of health technologies and today NICE has also launched its interim methods and processes manual. This describes how NICE will apply light-touch, streamlined and faster evaluations to simpler, low-risk treatments, enabling NICE to produce rapid guidance for these topics. It also ensures NICE can continue to have enough time for complex areas that need tailored support. 

As part of a pilot project that began last year NICE has so far recommended 5 treatments through this approach, benefiting around 176,000 patients and making our technology appraisals process up to 45% faster.