NICE to look at broader health effects of therapies

NICE has agreed to examine ways in which it can incorporate broader health effects of treatments into its guidance.

The institute set out its plans in its draft response to a report by former Healthcare Commission chairman Professor Sir Ian Kennedy. The report recommended that NICE should adjust its evaluation process to take into account relevant health-related benefits, once these have been identified and agreed.

NICE has now agreed to develop a list of health-related benefits of the technologies it reviews as part of the scoping phase of its reviews. It also agreed to work with research funders to stimulate research into whether wider social benefits of treatments should be considered in its reviews.

A project examining the impact of NICE decisions on PCTs is also planned, the institute has said. This will seek to understand the spending behaviour of PCTs and the effect of NICE decisions on budgetary planning.

NICE's response to the Kennedy report is open to consultation until 13 January 2010.

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