The European Network for Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA) has published an analysis of HTA and reimbursement procedures in EUnetHTA partner countries. The study identifies differences in working practices for the assessment of pharmaceuticals and non-pharmaceutical health technologies. Data were received from 59 agencies in 31 EUnetHTA partner countries.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has launched the Preliminary Independent Model Advice (PRIMA) service to ‘health-check’ economic models. PRIMA is a fee-based consultancy service offering a detailed peer review service to help developers of drugs, medical devices and diagnostics, and public health interventions ensure the quality of their model structure, coding, usability and transparency.
The Centre for Health Economics (CHE) at the University of York have published a scoping review on social care economic evaluation methods. A systematic review of the published literature and a survey of experts were undertaken to inform NICE on the methods available for use in undertaking economic evaluation of social care interventions, and the methods in development, the challenges faced and the methods gaps.
The UK Government has published the Life sciences sector deal. The strategy is aimed at ensuring new treatments and medical technologies are produced in the UK and sets investment into the life sciences sector.
The use of mesh implants to treat vaginal wall prolapse has been discussed in the Scottish Parliament. The debate centred around allegations that the review on mesh implants was flawed and the role of the Medicines and Healthcare Regulations Agency. The PROSPECT trial was mentioned in the course of the discussions. It has been announced that Professor Alison Brittle will lead a review into the process of the previous review and make recommendations for the conduct of similar reviews in the future. The recommendations that the procedure should not be offered routinely remain in place ahead of the NICE recommendations due to be published on 20 December 2017.
An article in the BMJ reports that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence will announce that transvaginal mesh should not be used to treat vaginal wall prolapse. The guidance from NICE’s Interventional Procedure Advisory Committee, due to be published on 20 December, concluded that transvaginal mesh repair of anterior or posterior vaginal wall prolapse should be used only in the context of research. NICE said that its guidance had not yet been officially released and was subject to change. An independent review of the safety of transvaginal mesh procedures in Scotland, published in March 2017, concluded that they must not be offered routinely.
The latest National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) newsletter has been published. The newsletter has features on effective use of antibiotics, breast cancer drugs, guidance that people with inherited cholesterol disorder familial hypercholesterolaemia should be checked as early as possible, and an announcement that NICE will build in advice on when an intervention shouldn’t be offered to certain people because either the practice is unsafe, or there is strong evidence the practice is ineffective in terms of quality and/or cost compared with alternatives.