NICE launches ambitious 5-year strategy

NICE launches strategy to provide quicker access to new treatments and innovations

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has launched its 5-year strategy, with the aim to be more dynamic and collaborative in its work and provide quicker access to new treatments and innovations.

The strategy will outline the aim to speed up patients’ access to the latest and most effective treatments, and detail how dynamic guideline recommendations will be put in the hands of healthcare professionals more quickly.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reaffirmed the need to place science and evidence at the heart of health and care decision making and improve outcomes for all patients across the healthcare system.

The 2021-2026 strategy aims to ensure the organisation is more proactive and engaged with the life science industry earlier in the innovation pathway will allow patients to access new treatments faster. NICE will keep ahead of the challenges of a rapidly changing health and care landscape by forging key partnerships to expand the organisation’s skills, capacity and capabilities. It will renew and develop collaborations to support patient safety and track adoption of improvements.

This new approach will also allow NICE to evolve from producing full guidelines to adopting a more modular, living style of recommendations, allowing rapid updates that incorporate the latest evidence to reach healthcare professionals faster than ever before.

The new strategic ambition

The vision over the next 5 years is reflected in 4 key pillars that underpin where NICE will be focusing its transformation efforts:

  • Rapid, robust, and responsive technology evaluation: providing independent, world-leading assessments of new treatments at pace, quickening access for patients, and increasing uptake.
  • Dynamic, living guideline recommendations: creating and maintaining up-to-date guidance that integrates the latest evidence, practice and technologies in a useful and useable format.
  • Effective guidance uptake to maximise our impact: working with our strategic partners to increase the use of our guidance, monitor adoption and measure impact on health outcomes and health inequalities.
  • Leadership in data, research and science: becoming scientific leaders by driving the research agenda, using real-world data to resolve gaps in knowledge and drive forward access to innovations for patients.

Professor Gillian Leng CBE, NICE chief executive, said: “The new strategy sets out a vision for the future where NICE will be more dynamic, work more collaboratively, and continue to build on the excellent foundations of the last 22 years.

“Our work to produce rapid COVID-19 guidelines during the pandemic has hastened our desire for change. We demonstrated that we can be flexible and fleet of foot, without losing the rigour of our work, and we will now look to embed that approach in our day-to-day work.

“The world around us is changing. New treatments and technologies are emerging at a rapid pace, with real-world data driving a revolution in evidence. We will help busy healthcare professionals to navigate these new changes and ensure patients have access to the best care and latest treatments.”

Richard Torbett, chief executive of the ABPI, said: “Pharmaceutical companies are working on thousands of exciting new medicines and treatments, from rare disease gene therapies to mRNA vaccines for cancer. Today’s strategy sets out a positive vision for the future of NICE; one which will see it evolve with the science that makes these breakthroughs possible and build on its international reputation for producing evidence-based guidance.

“We will continue to work with NICE to ensure medicine appraisals remain robust, transparent, and in line with the latest science so that NHS patients can benefit from new medicines when they become available.”