Three areas where NICE's collaboration with CMAC can make a difference

Heidi Livingstone, senior public involvement adviser within NICE's Public Involvement Programme, reflects on the partnership with CMAC

Putting patients at the heart of developing guidance has always been a core value of NICE.

This year we are celebrating our 20th anniversary and during the last 12 months NICE has worked with the Charity Medicines Access Coalition (CMAC) to identify where changes to NHS practices, that NICE can influence, could benefit patients and carers.

The CMAC brings together ten health charities, representing millions of patients, working to ensure scientific advances benefit the people who need them most.

One of the CMAC aims is to ensure patients can access innovative medicines while protecting the NHS’s financial sustainability.

The NICE/CMAC partnership has identified three areas where we can make a difference:

  • Increasing patient involvement in the assessment of new medicines.
  • Reviewing how NICE judges the value of new medicines.
  • Using evidence from NHS care, as well as clinical trials, in NICE’s decision-making.

The Public Involvement Team at NICE has reviewed and improved opportunities for patients to contribute to NICE’s decision-making. As part of this, patients and representatives from CMAC charities have highlighted their priorities for change. These include new avenues for voicing patient perspectives and greater support to ensure everyone can contribute equally and feels heard.

NICE and patient representatives will now develop recommendations for how to integrate this feedback into practice.

As part of NICE’s review of the methods we use to develop guidance on drugs, medical devices and diagnostics, representatives from CMAC, as well as academia, the pharmaceutical industry, NHS England, and other patient representative organisations will have a key part to play in shaping the proposed changes which will be presented for public consultation in summer of 2020.

A consultation is already underway about the use of real-world evidence and how NICE plans to increase its use when developing its guidelines and guidance. Stakeholders including the CMAC are helping to shape its potential use by NICE committees by sharing their views on the proposal.

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