Sir Michael Rawlins talks about his views on EuroNICE, PCORI and the future of health technology assessment as he prepares to step down after nearly 14 years as chairman of the U.K.'s cost regulator, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
Sir Michael Rawlins, chairman of the U.K.'s health technology assessment (HTA) body, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), has led the institute since it was founded back in 1999. But his time there is drawing to a close.
Rawlins has successfully guided NICE through numerous changes as his U.K. governmental masters faced public campaigns waged by patient groups upset by negative opinions from NICE, and come out ahead in a judicial review of the institute's processes by the U.K. High Court.
At times, pharmaceutical companies have expressed frustration at various aspects of NICE's work, arguing the institute's procedures act as a brake on innovation and delay or restrict patient access to new therapies. But with near evangelical zeal, Rawlins has not shirked from explaining and extending the role of HTA in the U.K. and around the world. In the U.S., NICE's clinical guidelines have an "extraordinary following," he said.
Appointment to U.K. public bodies like NICE are usually for a maximum of 10 years, but Rawlins' time at NICE has been extended twice. His current term will be his last, as he explained in a recent interview with “The Pink Sheet.”
Rawlins will remain active, though, and in a role that the drug industry might see as more directly fostering innovation. He has been appointed chairman of the U.K. BioBank, which has taken and stored tissue samples from more than 500,000 individuals in the U.K., for use in research. He is also president-elect of the Royal Society of Medicine.
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