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Health Policy. 2011 Oct;102(2-3):136-44. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2011.06.002. Epub 2011 Jul 16.

A thematic analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of manufacturers' submissions to the NICE Single Technology Assessment (STA) process.

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Health Economics and Decision Science, School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield, Regent Court, Regent Street, Sheffield S1 4DA, UK.



The NICE Single Technology Appraisal (STA) process in the UK has been underway for five years. Evidence Review Groups (ERGs) critically appraise submissions from manufacturers on the clinical and cost effectiveness of new technologies. This study analysed the ERGs' assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of 30 manufacturers' submissions to the STA process.


Thematic analysis was performed on the textual descriptions of the strengths and weakness of manufacturer submissions, as outlined by the ERGs in their reports.


Various themes emerged from the data. These themes related to the processes applied in the submissions; the content of the submission (e.g. the amount and quality of evidence); the reporting of the submissions' review and analysis processes; the reliability and validity of the submissions' findings; and how far the submission had satisfied the STA process objectives.


STA submissions could be improved if attention were paid to transparency in the reporting, conduct and justification of review and modelling processes and analyses, as well as greater robustness in the choice of data and closer adherence to the scope or decision problem. Where this adherence is not possible, more detailed justification of the choice of evidence or data is required.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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