Intended for healthcare professionals


NICE to set out how it will judge social benefits of drugs

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 20 January 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g370
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

In the next few weeks the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) expects to outline how it will measure the value that drugs bring to society. This forms part of a new scheme for pricing drugs in the United Kingdom, which was published late last year after an agreement between the Department of Health for England and the drug industry.

At a Westminster health seminar in London on 16 January Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive of NICE, said that a paper was due to be presented at the next NICE board meeting to set out the options, but she gave no indication of what they would be.

John Cairns, a member of NICE’s appraisal committee, said that the task would be difficult because the methods for assessing the social benefits of drugs were not very well developed. He said that the types of benefits to be assessed could include relief of burden on carers and the economic benefits of getting patients …

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