The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) produces guidance for the NHS based on assessment of the clinical and cost effectiveness of health technologies. In some circumstances, a simpler form of economic analysis is used which focusses solely on the costs of interventions, referred to as Cost Minimisation Analysis (CMA). This project aims to provide information on several issues relating to the use of CMA:
- How and when is CMA used across NICE’s programmes?
- Whether the approaches used across different guidance producing programmes are consistent.
- Whether any identified differences are appropriate.
We were asked to make recommendations for the way CMA methods are applied which may inform changes to the Methods Guides that relate to each programme.
We reviewed literature relating to cost-minimisation analysis and considered NICE appraisals where these methods have been used. Discussions were held with committee members, chairs, academic groups and NICE staff in order to understand the key issues in relation to CMA and to obtain feedback on potential recommendations. We outline the limited circumstances where CMA can be applied as a potentially simpler assessment process and provide suggestions for the implementation of such methods.