BMJ-TAG conducts research to support the role of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and other policy makers in the UK to improve health outcomes. Through the Technology Assessment Review (TAR) programme, BMJ-TAG and eight other research teams support NICE by conducting independent research about the clinical- and cost-effectiveness of new medicines, devices and diagnostic tests for use in the NHS. The TAR programme is managed by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) through their Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC).
Most work conducted by BMJ-TAG for NICE is for Single Technology Appraisals (STA), which assess the clinical and economic evidence for a single medicine or treatment for a single indication. Our role in the STA process is to provide an independent report based on evidence submitted by a pharmaceutical company (see diagram below), to help NICE Appraisal Committees make informed recommendations to the Department of Health and Social Care.
Other forms of NICE guidance that BMJ-TAG are involved with through the NIHR HTA programme are:
More details of each form of guidance can be found on the NICE website, and all projects completed by BMJ-TAG are published on the NICE website and in the NIHR Journals Library.
Since 2019, the health economics team at BMJ-TAG has been commissioned by Health Improvement Scotland (HIS) to undertake critical appraisals of the health economic analysis provided by companies in their submissions to the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC). The SMC provides advice to NHSScotland about the value for patients of newly licensed medicines. The SMC also reviews new formulations of, and new ways to use, established medicines. Before a medicine can be prescribed routinely in Scotland, it has to be accepted for use by the SMC. More details on how the SMC decides which medicines to accept can be found on the SMC website.