CholesterolConflicts of Interest

New UK (NICE) guidelines for CVD

Introduction to NICE

There is a public organisation in the UK called The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). It was originally called The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (also NICE) when it was set up by Frank Dobson, Labour Health Minister, in 1999. NICE produces guidelines on every aspect of health and care that you can think of. There are NICE guidelines for every drug, every intervention, every procedure. There are guidelines from Caesarean birth (Ref 1) to Palliative care (Ref 2), with obesity in between (Ref 3). The most recent NICE guidelines, at the time of writing this note, were published on 7th February 2024 and they were called “Belumosudil for treating chronic graft-versus-host disease after 2 or more systemic treatments in people 12 years and over” (Ref 4). That shows the level of detail covered by NICE guidelines and just how many guidelines there are.

NICE used to be described as an independent body. The word independent has long since been dropped. I was writing about NICE’s lack of independence 10 years ago (Ref 5). My posts on NICE can be seen here (Ref 6). My research into NICE conflicts of interest used to attract the interest of journalists. For example, I was invited to write an article in the Independent in July 2014 (Ref 7). The NICE position is now that guideline committee members declare their conflicts and that’s all that needs to be done (Ref 5). There’s no need for the word “independent” anymore. That’s like a cat declaring an interest in birds and then being deemed OK to reside in an aviary!

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