Reimbursement of medical devices for use in secondary care in England and Wales is primarily based on procurement procedures and negotiation with hospital trusts providing care to patients. Alternatively, this could be performed by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) which commission care from any qualified provider including hospitals. If there is enough evidence to support a NICE review, this can be supported by NICE guidance if you can persuade NICE to conduct a review and if they do not conclude that the product should be used ‘only in research’ or if there is insufficient evidence to support a positive recommendation.
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NICE guidance and advice is ‘evidence based’ meaning recommendations are based on a review of:
- Clinical evidence which measures how well the medicine or treatment works
- Economic evidence which measures how well the medicine or treatment works in relation to how much it costs the NHS – does it represent value for money?
Click here for the manual on Developing NICE guidelines
The way NICE was established in legislation means that the guidance is officially England-only. However, agreements are in place to provide certain NICE products and services to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Medical Technologies Evaluation Programme
The NICE medical technologies evaluation programme (MTEP) selects and evaluates new or innovative medical technologies (including devices and diagnostics). MTEP helps the NHS adopt efficient and cost effective medical devices and diagnostics more rapidly and consistently.
The types of products which might be evaluated are:
- medical devices that deliver treatment, such as those implanted during surgical procedures
- technologies that give greater independence to patients
- diagnostic devices or tests used to detect or monitor medical conditions
The Medical Technologies Advisory Committee (MTAC) selects medical devices and diagnostics for which NICE should produce guidance and then routes the selected technology to the appropriate NICE guidance producing programme:
- The medical technologies programme
- The diagnostics assessment programme
- The technology appraisal programme
- The interventional procedures programme
- The NICE guideline programme