Keep your eyes peeled for item number 6 on the agenda for NICE’s AGM, which kicks off today at 2pm BST. It’s “to receive Sir Ian Kennedy’s report: ‘Appraising the value of innovation & other benefits—a short study for NICE.’
A short study for NICE—that makes it sound rather friendly, doesn’t it, as if Sir Ian Kennedy (professor of health law, ethics and policy of University College London) was doing the agency a favor. Maybe he is. After all, it was NICE which commissioned this ‘independent study’ into the red-hot question of how it assesses value, and whether its methodologies take into account a sufficiently broad definition thereof, back in January.
Even after just four months of implementation, this supplementary guidance has raised several significant questions. Does the size of the population a drug treats refer to that across all indications, or only that under review? What happens to existing guidance if a drug receives subsequent additional marketing approval? What if two similar drugs are reviewed using this guidance a short time apart—would the first go through and the second be rejected, based on a an ‘alternative treatment’ being available? How should we measure a treatment’s survival gain, using mean or median survival? Should we take into account quality-of-life benefits during that time?