A smashing success! ISPOR hosted its 20th Annual European Congress in Glasgow, Scotland last month, boasting nearly 5,000 attendees and satisfying our deepest sweet tooth cravings thanks to the lunch menu’s endless supply of teacake biscuits, caramel wafers, caramel shortbread, and IRN Bru. In addition, the conference hosted three well-attended plenary sessions, 28 issue panels, 24 workshops, and more. And we even saw a few rays of sunshine over the weekend!
One ISPOR Glasgow highlight for me was an issues panel I moderated on Wednesday, November 8th, the last day of the conference. Titled “Should ICER be NICE (or Not)?”, the session had a great turnout – nearly 200 people – and included Dr. Dan Ollendorf, Chief Scientific Officer at the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) and Dr. Páll Jónsson, Associate Director at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as panelists. The goal of the ICER versus NICE session was to compare ICER’s value assessment framework with NICE’s guidelines.
For single technology assessments, NICE relies on manufacturers to submit systematic reviews, cost-utility analyses, and budgetary impact analyses while ICER conducts its own analyses. However, for multiple technology assessments, both NICE and ICER conduct their own analyses.
Along with the minor variations above, we also discussed a number of similarities between the organizations:
Both organizations use clinical and economic evidence to improve population health and the quality of care and to allow for more efficient use of healthcare resources. They do so through cost-utility analyses, focusing on assessments of the incremental cost per QALY gained.
Both organizations support analysis and reporting of disaggregated results, such as QALYs from different health states, the number and associated costs of clinically-relevant endpoints (e.g., strokes averted among an AF population), as well as total and setting of care costs.
Both organizations analyze uncertainty by conducting scenario analyses (i.e., variations in circumstances) along with one-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses (i.e., variations in inputs).
At the end of the day, ICER versus NICE aren't that different. It was agreed that most of the observed differences between the two are at the margin, so the results and interpretations may not vary substantially. Moreover, because the two organizations are working toward the same goal (i.e., to improve population health, quality of care, and efficiency), the organizations could easily morph into one another were they to switch geographic regions. That is, NICE would likely adopt ICER’s US-centric principles if it worked within the US’s regulatory, political, and health system landscape, and vice versa.
ISPOR has posted the presentation, which can be found under here under IP20: Should ICER be NICE (Or Not)? How ICER’s New Cost-Effectiveness Framework Compares with NICE’s Guidelines. If you attended the session or if you are reviewing the slides for the first time and have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.