Decision Support Unit Project Specification Form

Decision Support Unit Project Specification Form
Project Number
DSU/2014-15/M/21
Topic
Development of a transparent decision making framework for routine use by
appraisal Committees, with incorporation of all relevant health technology appraisal
value elements
Synopsis of the technical issue
NICE was asked to amend the Methods of Health Technology Appraisal to
incorporate value based assessment of health technologies following the referral of
Terms of Reference from the Department of Health in July 2013. The Terms of
Reference stated that the methods should be amended to include a simple system of
weighting for burden of illness that appropriately reflects the differential value of
treatments for the most serious conditions, and it should also include a proportionate
system for taking account of wider societal benefits. The Institute was not asked to
make any other changes to its methods. In particular, the Government agreed with
industry that the baseline cost effectiveness threshold should be kept at a level
consistent with the current range (£20,000 per QALY up to £30,000 per QALY
subject to the application, in individual cases, of a number of modifying factors) for
the duration of the 2014 Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme.
NICE proposed to amend the methods such that proportional and absolute QALY
loss values would be calculated as part of a technology appraisal and used as the
basis for assessing burden of illness and wider societal impact respectively. The
Appraisal Committees would be asked to adopt a more favourable approach when
considering treatments for people whose conditions have a progressively higher
burden of illness and wider societal impact. These factors would be considered,
alongside other modifiers, meaning that ICERs above £20,000 per QALY gained
would be acceptable in circumstances where these factors are considered relevant
and where absolute and proportional QALY shortfall is high. The maximum weighting
of 2.5 could be applied by the Appraisal Committees when taking into account the
cumulative impact of all the modifiers, including burden of illness and wider societal
impact therefore broadening the circumstances in which an ICER above the £20,000
baseline might be acceptable. Further details on the proposed amendments are
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available in the Consultation Paper on Value Based Assessment of Health
Technologies (See specification appendix 1).
Consultation on the proposed amendments to the methods took place between
March and June 2014. Following consideration of the comments received, it is clear
that although there is considerable interest in the proposals put forward, there was
not sufficient support for them in their current form to implement without further work.
In the Department of Health’s response to consultation it advised that, in line with the
Terms of Reference, it wishes NICE to retain the current ‘End of life treatment
protocol’. Therefore the current end of life flexibilities should be retained within a
wider framework as requested by the Department of Health, and this should be
incorporated in further work carried out by the DSU.
At the Methods Working Party Meeting in July 2014, participants were also presented
with a potential approach to a structured decision making framework for use by
Appraisal Committees (see specification appendix 2). This potential approach was
also discussed by the NICE Board at their meeting in July 2014 (see specification
appendix 3). The Board requests that the approach, and the measurement and
weight of each of the components, be considered in further work carried out by the
DSU.
Following the consultation and the responses received on wider societal benefits,
discussions are ongoing between NICE and the Department of Health about the
desirability and practicality of incorporating this criterion into Technology Appraisal
methodology.
There have been calls for NICE to be clearer in the presentation of its guidance
regarding the impact of its recommendations those whose treatments will be
displaced as a result of the decision to invest in the technology under appraisal. A
number of options are available for presenting this information in technology
appraisal guidance, one of which might reasonably use the work by Claxton et al
presented in 2013; ‘Methods for the Estimation of the NICE Cost Effectiveness
Threshold’ [CHE Research Paper 81].
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Question(s) to be answered by
DSU
The DSU is asked to carry our further research, drawing upon the consultation
responses (available here), as follows:
1. Explore how individual value elements and modifiers can be incorporated in a
systematic and transparent decision framework.
2. Determine if it is feasible to assign weights, to individual elements and modifiers.
Taking into account that the current end of life treatments protocol should be
retained.
3. Develop a structured framework for routine use by Appraisal Committees to
explore the elements and modifiers included in the framework and what
significance should be attributed to each during the decision making process.
4. Consider options for presenting the consequences of recommending use of a
(new) technology in terms of the benefits gained and lost for both those patients
who are treated and those whose treatments will be displaced as a result of
introduction of the new technology
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How will the DSU address these
questions
1. Inclusion of value elements in a decision framework

Provide definitions of each value element in the decision framework.

It will be necessary to take into account how the burden of illness element can
be incorporated within the framework when the value is less than that
associated with those treatments that are displaced on average (that is, when
the weight is below 1).
2. Weighting of included modifiers:

Carry out further analysis on the measurement and valuation of the burden of
illness element and determine how the current ‘End of life treatments protocol’
can be retained.

Determine which modifiers can be weighted ‘ex-ante’ within the decision
framework

The quantification, range and scale of weights for all included modifiers should
be determined through:
- A review of the current literature to identify any relevant research for
the modifiers (for BOI this may involve looking for any literature
produced since the DSU report on BOI in July 2013)
- Drawing upon others experience of using burden of illness in decision
making outside of the UK setting (for example, the work on BOI in the
Netherlands and Norway)
- Liaising with the Committee Chairs and the TA team to identify relevant
published Technology Appraisal guidance and reviewing this to
determine how the elements were considered, the implied weight if not
explicitly stated, and the potential range and scale of weights that could
be inferred from previous decisions.
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3. Develop a decision making framework for use by Appraisal Committees

Draw upon the scheme discussed during the Working Party discussions (See
specification appendices 2 &3) to develop a clear framework for use by
Appraisal Committees to establish whether each of the each of the modifiers
in the proposed amended methods guide are met, and what weight should be
attributed to each during the decision making process. A framework that is
simple and explanatory of the Committees decision making is preferable to the
application of full multi-criteria decision analysis methods.

Draw upon other relevant, published schemes.
4. Options for presenting the consequences of recommending use of a
technology

Exact analyses required
Propose approaches to presenting the consequences of recommending use
of a (new) technology, taking into account the benefits gained and lost, and
with reference to the elements explored under 1-3.
1. Inclusion of elements in a decision framework

Review relevant TA guidance, methods, policy documents, publications and
other relevant information (see supporting information), and liaise with TA
directors and Chairs to:
- Determine which factors the Committee consider important other than
the health benefits in Committee decision making
- Provide definitions for each element
- Determine how the elements can be classified and ranked, and where
appropriate, what the categories are within each.
2. Weighting of included modifiers:

Determine which modifiers should and can be weighted ex-ante and the range
and scale of weights by:
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-
Carrying out a literature search to identify relevant research, review the
evidence and discuss how it relates to decisions. (See supporting
information).
-
Carrying out a review and extracting data from published TA guidance to
describe how each element was considered by the Committee, highlighting
any correlations/relationships with the decision made which may help to
establish weights for the modifiers. This may involve carrying out
interviews with Appraisal Committee members to determine what was in
their minds at the time of decision making to map the elements to their
behaviour and beliefs.
-
Drawing upon others experience of burden of illness within or outside the
UK by examining case studies and liaising with experts to determine how
information on burden of illness has been used to modify their decision
making process.
3. Develop a decision making framework for use by Appraisal Committees

Develop a transparent framework for use by Appraisal Committees building
upon parts 1 and 2 of the work above. This may include the use of qualitative
methods such as:
-
Interviews (structured or semi-structured as appropriate) with individual
Appraisal Committee members to determine the information needed to
establish whether a modifier is met and the weight that should be applied
within a potential framework
-
Piloting of a draft framework with individual Committee members to
retrospectively apply the criteria to a selection of past appraisals to validate
the criteria and framework.
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4. Options for presenting the consequences of introducing a (new) technology
in terms of the benefits gained and lost for both those who are treated and those
whose treatments will be displaced as a result of introduction of the new
technology
DSU deliverables/outcomes (e.g.
report, statement, etc.)
-
Present and appraise alternative options
-
Identify a preferred option.
A report that includes:

Reviews of the current literature to identify both evidence relevant to the value
elements used in a Technology Appraisal and published TA guidance in which
they were considered with discussion about how the element contributed to
decisions.

A summary of interviews with Committee members to map the potential value
elements to their current behaviour and beliefs (to determine the information
to establish whether a modifier is met and the weight that should be applied
within a potential framework).

A review of case studies and summary of expert advice relating to the use of
burden of illness within or outside of the UK setting to set out how the
information has been used in decision making.

A summary of:
- pilots of the draft framework with Committee members retrospectively
applying the framework to published appraisals
- Prospective pilots of the draft framework with Appraisal Committees and
the feedback on suitability for decision making.

Conclusions about the definitions of each element, which could be included in
a framework, the appropriate method of their measurement and valuation
(such as burden of illness), and the range and scale of weights to be applied
where relevant.
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
A transparent framework for routine use by Appraisal Committees.

A proposal for presenting the consequences of recommending use of a (new)
technology in terms of the benefits gained and lost for those patients receiving
the treatment and those whose treatments will be displaced as a result of
introduction of the new technology and taking into account the results of the
work on identification of the elements described above.

Recommendations for priority research.
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