Future unrelated costs

Life-extending treatments will result in additional medical expenditure during the period of extra survival. This expenditure includes costs that are related and unrelated to the treatment of interest.


The 2013 NICE methods guide explicitly excludes unrelated costs. As unrelated costs would be incurred by a healthcare system, there is an argument that they should be included.

The aim of this report is to highlight the issues to consider if there was a change to the NICE guidance on unrelated medical costs in the future.

DSU report

The relevance of future, unrelated health costs in economic evaluation in NICE appraisals (PDF, 733KB) (February 2020)

This report provides an overview of existing arguments in the literature, both for and against the inclusion of unrelated costs. It also considers the guidance provided in 40 guidelines from health technology assessment bodies across the world. Further, examples of estimating unrelated medical costs are identified and described.

This report also covers some of the issues to consider if unrelated medical costs were included in future NICE appraisals, along with areas that require further work to provide consensus and guidance.

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