National Institute for Clinical Excellence


Also found in: Medical.

National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE)

an institute established in the UK in 1999 to carry out appraisals of existing and new health interventions. It was established by the Government in response to criticisms that some of the factors influencing health inequalities arise from variations in the treatments offered to patients due to clinical autonomy, the over-pre scribing or use of expensive but not necessarily cost-effective drugs and restricted access to treatments because of local decisions on budget management (the ‘post-code lottery in health care’ as portrayed by the media). The Institute has the authority to issue clinical guidelines giving best practice advice for whole conditions or patient groups. The Institute is an important element in the drive towards EVIDENCE SUPPORTED HEALTH CARE, in that by providing information on the clinical and cost effectiveness of new and existing treatments it will support standards of best practice in health care and play a role in the licensing of new treatments. The first treatments examined were the anti-flu drug Ralenza, hip-replacement prostheses and the value of routine extraction of (non-symptomatic) wisdom teeth. see also SYSTEMATIC REVIEW.
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