NICE Office for Market Access

In October 2015, NICE launched a new initiative to offer expert advice to the life sciences industry and other stakeholders: the Office for Market Access (OMA).

The OMA provides an entry point for stakeholders to engage with NICE about its health technology evaluation activities and processes.

It has a team of experts who answer enquiries or, where needed, signpost enquirers to other organisations within the regulatory landscape.

These initial interactions are provided free of charge and are designed to help companies to navigate their way through NICE, as well as the broader ‘development to adoption’ pathways.

Where companies have a more specific requirement, the OMA offers flexible and bespoke services, tailored to individual needs. These services are charged on a not-for-profit basis.

Professor Carole Longson talks about the Office for Market Access at NICE conference 2015.

Supporting companies in accelerating patient access to medicines

In 2016, the OMA will pilot a new service: its first ‘Multi-stakeholder Safe Harbour Discussion’.

Multi-stakeholder Safe Harbour meetings are hosted by NICE, and aim to support companies in accelerating patient access to medicines and technologies.

Companies are given the opportunity to engage not only with NICE, but other relevant stakeholders, allowing all parties to see beyond their own area of interest and work together to overcome barriers.

This collaborative approach aims to help companies achieve a smoother route to market.

Pilots will take place in August 2016, and by the end of the year the OMA will roll out its Safe Harbour Discussions as a not-for profit chargeable service.

Looking forward, these important new services delivered by the OMA will play a significant role in delivering the outcomes of the government’s Accelerated Access Review (AAR).

Led by George Freeman, Minister for Life Sciences, the AAR is intended to clear a path through the regulatory landscape for technology developers to get effective and innovative technologies to patients faster.