Virtual globe

NICE co-sign international agreement to boost collaboration

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have partnered with five other health technology assessment (HTA) bodies in a bid to boost international collaboration in tackling common challenges and taking advantage of shared opportunities.

The initial six signatories of the agreement will remain independent of one another but will now endeavour to work in conjunction with each other to share insight and create better oversight.

As well as NICE, the five other organisations that have entered into the agreement include the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, Health Technology Wales, All Wales Therapeutics & Toxicology Centre, and the Australian Government’s Department of Health and Aged Care.

The partnership spans three continents and will focus on:

  • COVID-19 – Partners with share information and insight about their work in COVID-19, covering everything from what topics they are prioritising and how they are working with regulators, all the way to the management of medicines with no market authorisation and approaches to economic modelling.
  • Future-proofing of HTA systems – Partners will share information and insight into how they can identify future technological and methodological challenges before they actually present an active problem.
  • Collaboration with regulators – Partners will discuss the viability of developing a joint approach to engaging with regulatory agencies in Australia, Canada and the UK, in order to improve and increase HTA-regulatory cooperation.
  • Work-sharing and efficiency gains – Partners will explore the possibility of recognising or using one another’s HTA information, as well as potentially running a joint clinical assessment pilot.
  • Digital and Artificial Intelligence – Partners will share information and insight about developments around the evaluation of digital health technologies, including technologies that incorporate artificial intelligence.

Meindert Boysen, head of international affairs at NICE, said: “After years of successful informal collaboration, I am excited that we have now formalised our partnership with key members of the global HTA community, for the benefit of patients, the NHS, and the life sciences.

“We share many of the opportunities and challenges that major developments in science and health care are presenting to us. By working together we will be able to anticipate, recognise, and responds to these. Sharing and developing solutions that work for all we serve.

“While NICE remains independent, we know that working together will make us stronger, keeping us at the forefront of health technology assessment, and that can only benefit all our organisations and the people we serve.”

The organisations will all attend an annual meeting to review their progress and discuss the opportunities, challenges and activities in their area, as well as ensuring they are all still aligned in their priority areas.

There is scope to expand the partnership to include other HTA bodies in the future, although other organisations would only be able to join with the approval of the founding members – the agreement will be reviewed after two years.

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