UK’s NICE EVAR appraisal is delayed

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has delayed the publication of the abdominal aortic aneurysm – endovascular stentgrafts appraisal.

According to a message released for consultees and commentators on 19th December 2008, an appeal has been lodged against the final appraisal determination (released on 7th November 2008) and a committee is considering whether the appeal will go forward or not. The outcome of this deliberation will determine the release date. The content of the appeal has not been revealed by the institute.

The final appraisal determination (FAD) is the Appraisal Committee’s revised guidance about using a treatment in the National Health Service. It is produced after considering comments  made during the consultation. The consultees can appeal against the recommendations set out in the FAD. The appeals period is the final stage of the technology appraisal process, during which the manufacturers and organisations representing patients and carers and healthcare professionals can appeal against the final guidance before it is issued. The appeals period is 15 working days. If there is no appeal, or any appeal is not upheld, the final appraisal determination is issued by NICE as guidance.

The final decision on the EVAR guidance was expected to the end of 2008. In summary, the Appraisal Committee’s preliminary recommendations advised the use of endovascular stentgrafts as a treatment option for patients with unruptured AAA for whom surgical intervention is considered appropriate, based on assessment factors including aneurysm size, patient age and fitness for surgery.