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NICE's social value judgements about equity in health and health care

  • Koonal K. Shah (a1) (a2), Richard Cookson (a3), Anthony J. Culyer (a4) (a5) and Peter Littlejohns (a6)

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) routinely publishes details of the evidence and reasoning underpinning its recommendations, including its social value judgements (SVJs). To date, however, NICE's SVJs relating to equity in the distribution of health and health care have been less specific and systematic than those relating to cost-effectiveness in the pursuit of improved total population health. NICE takes a pragmatic, case-based approach to developing its principles of SVJ, drawing on the cumulative experience of its advisory bodies in making decisions that command respect among its broad range of stakeholders. This paper aims to describe the SVJs about equity in health and health care that NICE has hitherto used to guide its decision making. To do this, we review both the general SVJs reported in NICE guidance on methodology and the case-specific SVJs reported in NICE guidance about particular health care technologies and public health interventions.

Corresponding author
*Correspondence to: Koonal K. Shah, Office of Health Economics, 7th floor Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QT, UK. E-mail:
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Health Economics, Policy and Law
  • ISSN: 1744-1331
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