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NICE's international work will produce ‘China NICE’ and ‘Brazil NICE’

Cost-effectiveness watchdog is playing an increasing role in emerging pharma markets

The UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is playing an increasing role in emerging pharma markets with the aim that they will eventually set up their own versions of the cost-effectiveness watchdog.

Chief executive Sir Andrew Dillon said 'Brazil NICE' and 'China NICE' could, in time, be established to follow NICE's internationally recognised approach to health technology assessment.

Speaking at the Economist's recent Pharma Summit,Q Dillon explained that NICE's global consultancy arm, NICE International, has already taken its techniques and experiences out to over 60 countries.

“We've worked in rural China helping the government develop clinical guidelines,” he said.

This work began in 2009 and has seen NICE International become actively involved in the Chinese Rural Health Reforms and its work informing the Chinese government's evaluation of its Clinical Pathways project.

Here NICE's work had a particular focus on the project's potential for cost savings without compromising outcomes.

NICE and value-based pricing

Dillon also tackled NICE's role closer to home, calling for more clarity and transparency about the way the UK's forthcoming value-based pricing (VBP) system will work.

He said that despite the lack of detail about the impact of the VBP, nobody was arguing that value was unimportant.

But he said companies needed to be told how drug propositions would be broken down, either by NICE or under future VBP arrangements.

Asked about GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) CEO Andrew Witty's recent comments that GSK would pull out of Europe and concentrate on the US and Japanese markets because of the increasing complexity of European drug approval systems, Dillon said GSK should not run away from countries which used critical evaluation.

Both sides needed to work together, he said. “NICE is not an examining body designed to trip companies up. We want to work with them.” He added: “It is very rare for us not to find a way forward with the data pharma companies submit.”

He said NICE was committed to smoothing the process where it could. “We want to upstream and work with the top decision makers in companies. We are having VC [Venture Capital] discussions and helping them to de-risk treatment developments.”

22nd February 2012

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