Government proposes charging firms £10m a year for appraisals of healthcare technology

Written by Sam Trendall on 10 August 2018 in News

Rising demands and falling government funding prompt NICE to issue proposal for firms to pay for appraisals


Providers of healthcare technologies and digital treatments will be charged as much as £300,000 to have their products assessed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), under government plans announced today.

NICE, an arm’s-length body of the Department of Health and Social Care, appraises a range of technologies each year with a view to making policy recommendations on their potential rollout to NHS patients. The organisation has launched a consultation on proposals to charge product-makers for such assessments. 

NICE is proposing that, for a standard appraisal of a single digital-medicine product, its manufacturer would be charged about £151,000, or around £113,000 in the case of smaller firms.

Less complicated appraisals that can go through a fast-track process, and rapid reviews are available for technologies that have already been appraised once but require an update as a result of the introduction of an NHS-backed scheme to give patients access to the product. Both fast-track appraisals and rapid reviews will cost firms about £105,000, NICE proposes, or about £80,000 for SMEs.

Related content

For appraisals of two or three products that serve the same purpose, charges will stand at about £225,000 – or about £170,000 for smaller companies – while the tariff for assessments of more than three technologies will stand at about £300,000 for larger firms and £225,000 for SMEs.

The proposed introduction of charges comes in light of rising demand for NICE’s technology appraisals, coupled with a decline in funding from central government. In the 2017/18 year, the organisation undertook a total of 70 assessments, and this is projected to rise to 78 in 2018/19. Demand is likely to grow further still, according to NICE.

The consultation paper said: “The Department of Health and Social Care is considering the potential for broadening the scope of referrals to NICE which, if agreed between DHSC, NHS England, NICE, and industry, could result in up to 20 additional technology appraisals per year.”

In both 2013/14 and 2014/15, NICE conducted 32 technology assessments over the course of the year – less than half the number that were required in the 12 months to April 2018. Concurrently, the organisation has seen yearly funding from its parent department fall by more than a fifth – from £66.4m in 2013/14 to £51.2m in the current year.

The consultation paper added: “Charging will provide a more sustainable model that enables NICE to flex its capacity in response to the pipeline of technologies that require assessment by NICE, adapt its methods and processes to different types of technology, and allow it to be more responsive to developments in the life-sciences sector.”

NICE claims that, at current demand levels, its proposed charging model will generate a little more than £10m a year. 

The consultation is open until midnight on Friday 14 September, and responses can be submitted via email or using an online survey. The government is hoping to receive responses from the NHS, patient groups, local government, life-sciences companies, and the general public.

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

Share this page




Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

Airwave to get three-year extension as government resets Emergency Services Network project
21 September 2018

New services to be rolled out incrementally as Motorola Solutions agrees to continue support outgoing platform

‘GDS’s future mission needs clarifying’
18 October 2018

A House of Commons inquiry into the work of GDS to data and the state of digital government has begun publishing its findings. PublicTechnology looks at what a range of experts have had...

Making Tax Digital VAT pilot goes live
17 October 2018

HMRC director says that new digital ways to pay tax will give businesses more control over their finances

Related Sponsored Articles

GDPR already isn’t working
15 October 2018

The policies may be in place, but is it happening in practice? BT's Bas de Graaf looks at the reality of GDPR today

Simplicity in a complex world
8 October 2018

Cisco's Dominic Elliott shows how global organisations can embrace the benefits of SD-WAN without adding complexity

Make more of your digital transformation with Intelligent Connectivity
25 September 2018

When it comes to digital transformation, you want your organisation to lead from the front

Government begins to "rightsize"​ its estate
17 September 2018

BT's Simon Godfrey on how government is fundamentally rethinking its strategy for both people and places