Posted 13 December 2012
By Alexander Gaffney, RF News Editor
The UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has confirmed David Haslam, a distinguished advisor to several governmental organizations, as the new chairman of the agency, replacing the outgoing and longtime chair Sir Michael Rawlins.
Rawlins has been chairman of NICE since the agency's founding in 1999, and the transition to Haslam comes as NICE has been under increasing fire from industry over its health economic assessments of regulated products. Those critics contend that NICE's reviews increase the costs of innovation and make it more difficult for patients to access new treatments in a timely manner.
But if Haslam faces difficult tasks, officials said he is well prepared to handle them. Haslam has served as the president of the British Medical Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners, chair of the NICE Evidence Accreditation Advisory Board, an expert member of the NHS Quality Board and as the national clinical adviser to the Care Quality Commission.
"He will bring to this important role a wealth of skills and experience from his distinguished career as both a front-line GP and a respected clinical leader," wrote Jeremy Hunt, UK Health Secretary, of Haslam. "David is well-qualified to provide strong leadership for NICE's work to support quality improvement across the health and care system."
Haslam will serve under the terms of a four-year appointment to end in April 2017, NICE said in a statement.