NICE and SMC/HIS collaboration on health technology appraisal of therapeutics for COVID-19

Joint statement on health technology appraisal of therapeutics for COVID-19

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic NICE and Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) have collaborated with other partners to ensure rapid access to treatments for COVID-19 through the Research to access pathway for investigational drugs for COVID-19 (RAPID C-19) initiative.

NICE has started its Multiple Technology Appraisal (MTA) of treatments for COVID-19 and the resultant recommendations will inform routine commissioning in the NHS in England. At that point the interim clinical commissioning polices developed by NHS England with the devolved administrations will be stood down.

To ensure continued alignment of guidance on these therapies in all parts of the UK, NICE and the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC, as part of HIS) have agreed to maintain the collaboration that started through RAPID C-19. NICE Technology Appraisal guidance is implemented in Wales and there is an established processes for endorsing NICE Technology Appraisal guidance for implementation in Northern Ireland.

NICE and HIS have previously successfully collaborated on the Guideline on managing the long-term effects of COVID-19, which was jointly developed by NICE, the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

The SMC will input directly into the MTA so that the MTA guidance will also be relevant to the NHS in Scotland. As with the jointly developed Guideline on managing the long-term effects of COVID-19, both NICE and the SMC will produce separate guidance and advice documents, but the recommendations will be aligned. The usual obligations for complying with technology appraisal recommendations will apply to healthcare commissioners in England. In Scotland, the MTA advice will have the same status for health board consideration as other SMC advice on new medicines.

NICE and the SMC will continue to work together on any updates to this MTA guidance after publication. The organisations will also explore collaborating on future health technology appraisals of therapies for COVID-19.

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