NICE – Interventional Procedures Review

The Challenge

NICE set up a new review process for interventional procedures to take over from SERNIP. Fibroid embolisation was the first new procedure to be reviewed. The patient group had all experienced this procedure and wanted other women to have access to this less invasive treatment, rather than hysterectomy.

The Analysis

NICE only considered ~10 rather old papers for this new technique and on this basis decided the treatment was unsafe. A full analysis was carried out of all the published evidence on fibroid embolisation. This amounted to greater than 100 papers.

The Strategy

A critique was written on the NICE review challenging their lack of evidence and the basis for their decision. The full analysis of more than 100 papers was circulated to all the leading interventional radiologists and medical device companies, to enable them to undertake their own submissions to NICE. A submission was made to NICE on behalf of the patient group encompassing the criticism of the review and an analysis of the considerable amount of missing evidence.

The Result

The NICE decision was overturned and fibroid embolisation was found to be safe enough to use routinely. This gave women an alternative to hysterectomy.