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Using HTA and guideline development as a tool for research priority setting the NICE way: reducing research waste by identifying the right research to fund.
  1. Tarang Sharma1,
  2. Moni Choudhury2,
  3. Juan Carlos Rejón-Parrilla3,
  4. Pall Jonsson3,
  5. Sarah Garner2
  1. 1 Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenahgen, Denmark
  2. 2 Science Policy and Research, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, London, UK
  3. 3 Science Policy and Research, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Ms Tarang Sharma; tarangs{at}


Background The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) was established in 1999 and provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care. Several steps in the research cycle have been identified that can support the reduction of waste that occurs in biomedical research. The first step in the process is ensuring appropriate research priority setting occurs so only the questions that are needed to fill existing gaps in the evidence are funded. This paper summarises the research priority setting processes at NICE.

Methods NICE uses its guidance production processes to identify and prioritise research questions through systematic reviews, economic analyses and stakeholder consultations and then highlights those priorities by engagement with the research community. NICE also highlights its methodological areas for research to ensure the appropriate development and growth of the evidence landscape.

Results NICE has prioritised research questions through its guidance production and methodological work and has successfully had several research products funded through the National Institute for Health Research and Medical Research Council. This paper summarises those activities and results.

Conclusions This activity of NICE therefore reduces research waste by ensuring that the research it recommends has been systematically prioritised through evidence reviews and stakeholder input.

  • research waste
  • priority setting
  • research priorities
  • resource allocation

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  • Contributors All authors had complete access to the data in the study. TS and MC contributed to the concept and design, acquired the data for the study and developed the first draft of the manuscript; all authors contributed to the analysis and/or interpretation of data and critically revised the manuscript and approved the final version.

  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Disclaimer The authors’ views expressed in this paper are their own.

  • Competing interests TS was an employee of NICE, and the remaining authors are currently employees of NICE. The authors would also like to note that TS was previously a senior analyst at NICE in the United Kingdom.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement The data can be requested from NICE, UK.

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