NICE explains guidance in Lancet articles

March 3, 2008 Scrip

The National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence, which assesses healthcare technology for the national health service in England and Wales, is collaborating with The Lancet Oncology to publish background information on its anticancer appraisals. Recent guidance from the institute on the use of Roche's Mabthera (rituximab) in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is to be outlined in the April print issue of The Lancet Oncology, along with a special report on the appraisal committee's consideration of the evidence (Scrip No 3340, p 5). NICE hopes that Lancet readers will find the report "a useful aid to understanding how we make our assessments and decisions". The Lancet Oncology points out: "Medical journals can play an important part in communicating to a wider audience the workings behind decisions and announcements made by publicly funded organisations, thus giving an insight into how such decisions are made and helping to increase accountability." NICE says it has similar arrangements with other publications, including the British Medical Journal, the Health Service Journal and Pulse, adding that these help to bring information about its work to an appropriate audience. The Mabthera guidance is the first of what is intended as a series of articles on anticancer appraisals to be published in The Lancet Oncology. NICE says its agreement with the publication is non-commercial.

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