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NICE stands for The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and is responsible for providing national guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention and treatment of ill health

NICE is an independent organisation. It was set up in 1999 to evaluate medications, treatments and procedures and decide whether they should be available on the NHS in England and Wales. It is important to remember that Scotland and Northern Ireland have separate organisations to make these decisions.

NICE presents its recommendations through Clinical Guidelines (CGs) and through Technical Appraisals (TAs), which evaluate eficacy and cost-effectiveness of treatments and medications.

Read more about NICE

Keep updated on guidance in development: NICE E-bull

NICE News updates and UK Guidelines

October 2014: NICE issues correction for anticoagulant and antidepressant drug interaction recommendations

Specifically, a correction was made to the table of drug interactions in Appendix 16, page 366. For conditions requiring anticoagulation, mirtazapine has been moved from the ‘Antidepressants to avoid or use with caution’ column to the ‘Antidepressants recommended’ column.

Read more


24 September 2014: Nice issues guidance on self-monitoring for people on long-term warfarin therapy

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence releases diagnostics guidance on two new devices to support self-testing for NHS use.

Read AF Association's response
Read guidance on the NICE website
Download diagnostics guidance
Post a 'selfie' and join the Facebook self-monitoring community


June 2014: NICE publish update on AF management: CG180

NICE issued new guidelines on the care and treatment for AF in June 2014 - the first since 2006. What does this mean for your AF care and management?

Learn about changes to the role of anticoagulation, symptom control and shared decision making:

Visit NICE website to download guideline in full

Download NICE Patient Decision Making Aid

Visit AF Association's Care AF website - individualised care

NICE Implementation Collaborative: Consensus: Supporting local implementation of NICE guidance on use of the novel (non-Vitamin K antagonist) oral anticoagulants in non-valvular atrial fibrillation.

View report on NICE website

Read our Press Release


AF Association welcomes NICE clinical guideline on management of AF

15 June 2014, Sky News
Charity Founder and CEO, Trudie Lobban MBE, backs new guidelines that will assess the role of aspirin in the management of AF-related stroke. Watch now

Patient choice in anticoagulation

Warfarin has been trusted for decades, and is an effective medication for preventing AF-related stroke. Warfarin inhibits (delays) the clotting process, and does this by acting on chemicals produced by vitamin K in our blood. People on warfarin need to have regular blood tests to ensure that the warfarin dose to maintain the target INR level (the capacity for the blood to clot) is correct.

Dabigatran was approved by NICE in 2012 for use in the UK. It differs from warfarin because the way it delays the clotting process is not dependent on levels of vitamin K in the body. For this reason it is called a non-vitamin K antagonist. It is also known as a direct thrombin inhibitor (thrombin is an enzyme which promotes blood clotting). Dabigatran is about as effective as warfarin (if not slightly more) as an AF-related stroke preventive measure. What does NICE say?

Rivaroxaban is a non-vitamin K antagonist. The dosage is convenient – it is a tablet taken once a day with meals. As with all anticoagulants, it can cause internal bleeding. Rivaroxaban has fewer drug interactions compared with warfarin and there are none of the concerns for moderating the vitamin K intake in the diet. What does NICE say?

Apixaban was approved by NICE for use in the UK in January 2013. Like dabigatran, it is taken as a twice daily tablet and does not require frequent blood monitoring, and so it may be more convenient if your lifestyle involves frequent travel. Trials have suggested that with apixaban there are fewer bleeds in the brain than with warfarin. What does NICE say?

Read more about anticoagulants:


April 2014

April 2014 social care update

Welcome to the sixth issue of NICE’s Social Care Stakeholder Update: a bulletin for registered stakeholders to keep you up to date with progress on our social care work and outline ways you can get involved.

View on NICE website


February 2014

NICE - AF Association patient information factsheet

This factsheet provides information about the role of NICE, how the body makes decisions, and its role in supporting access to therapies.

Read the factsheet