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The influence of cost-effectiveness and other factors on NICE decisions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Published copy (DOI)


  • Helen Dakin
  • Nancy Devlin
  • Yan Feng
  • Nigel Rice
  • Phill O'Neill
  • David Parkin


Publication details

JournalHealth Economics
DateE-pub ahead of print - 23 Sep 2014
DatePublished (current) - Oct 2015
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)1256-1271
Early online date23/09/14
Original languageEnglish


The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) emphasises that cost-effectiveness is not the only consideration in health technology appraisal and is increasingly explicit about other factors considered relevant but not the weight attached to each.
The objective of this study is to investigate the influence of cost-effectiveness and other factors on NICE decisions and whether NICE’s decision-making has changed over time.
We model NICE’s decisions as binary choices for or against a health care technology in a specific patient group. Independent variables comprised of the following: clinical and economic evidence; characteristics of patients, disease or treatment; and contextual factors potentially affecting decision-making. Data on all NICE decisions published by December 2011 were obtained from HTAinSite [].
Cost-effectiveness alone correctly predicted 82% of decisions; few other variables were significant and alternative model specifications had similar performance. There was no evidence that the threshold has changed significantly over time. The model with highest prediction accuracy suggested that technologies costing £40 000 per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) have a 50% chance of NICE rejection (75% at £52 000/QALY; 25% at £27 000/QALY).
Past NICE decisions appear to have been based on a higher threshold than £20 000–£30 000/QALY. However, this may reflect consideration of other factors that cannot be easily quantified.

    Research areas

  • health technology assessment; impplicit weights; cost-effectiveness; National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE); logistic regression

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