Unrelated future costs and unrelated future benefits: reflections on NICE guidance to the methods of technology appraisal

Alec Morton, Amanda I. Adler, Andy Briggs, David Bell, Werner Brouwer, Karl Claxton, Alastair Fischer, Neil Craig, Peter McGregor, Pieter van Baal

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In this editorial, we consider the vexing issue of “unrelated future costs” (for example, the costs of caring for people with dementia or kidney failure after preventing their deaths from a heart attack). The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance is not to take such costs into account in technology appraisals. However, standard appraisal practice involves modelling the benefits of those unrelated technologies. We argue that there is a sound principled reason for including both the costs and benefits of unrelated care. Changing this practice would have material consequences for decisions about reimbursing particular technologies and we urge future research to understand this better.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)933–938
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Economics
Issue number8
Early online date3 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2016


  • NICE
  • medical technologies
  • unrelated future costs
  • economic appraisal
  • healthcare

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