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What we do: Technology Assessment Reviews

Warwick Evidence is a multidisciplinary health services research unit with a primary focus on health technology assessment (HTA). It was established on 1st April 2011 by Professor Aileen Clarke within Warwick Medical School (WMS). Warwick Evidence undertakes reviews and evidence synthesis on the clinical and cost effectiveness of health care interventions commissioned by the Evidence Synthesis Programme, mainly to support the work of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), but also for other NHS policy-makers such as the National Screening Committee, and for the HTA Programme itself.

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The reports produced by Warwick Evidence take different forms depending on the type of appraisal. The reports are send to one of six NICE Appraisal Committees, which issue guidance to the NHS. Once Technology Appraisal Guidance has been issued, implementation of this is mandatory within the NHS. More information about NICE technology appraisals.

Technology assessment reports (TARs) for NICE take different forms depending on which form of appraisal is being used by NICE: The ERG reports for Single and Multiple Technology Appraisals (STAs and MTAs), Highly Specialised Technologies (HST) and Diagnostic Appraisals (DAs). TARs for other clients may be full TARs or short reports.

STAs are of a single technology for a single condition. The appraisal is based on a submission of the clinical effectiveness evidence and economic modelling by the manufacturer, and the Warwick Evidence role is to provide a detailed critique of the manufacturer’s submission, bring in other evidence as required.

FTAs were introduced in April 2017. They are a fast-track appraisal for technologies that are expected to offer better value for money than technologies appraised via the STA process. This appraisal process aims to be completed faster that STA process, but can revert to the full STA process if necessary.

CDF reviews are for drugs which have been funded through the Cancer Drugs Fund with the aim of providing patients with faster access to the most promising new cancer treatments.

For MTAs Warwick Evidence provides a comprehensive evaluation of the clinical and cost effectiveness of the health technologies. This involves systematic searching, appraisal and evidence synthesis, assessment of comparators, and development of an economic model. MTAs provide advice on the clinical and cost effectiveness of the different technologies and on their advantages and disadvantages.

HSTs are again based on evidence submitted by the manufacturer. The ERG will provide additional evidence for aspects of the decision making process that are not or not sufficiently covered by the company, such as evidence from other consultees, particularly from patient and carer groups.

DAs are designed to evaluate diagnostic tests on the basis of clinical utility and cost-effectiveness.

HTAs or Short Reports are systematic reviews of a health technology or condition. Their length varies from short papers to monographs.