JOURNAL ARTICLE

Key principles for the improved conduct of health technology assessments for resource allocation decisions

Michael F Drummond, J Sanford Schwartz, Bengt Jönsson, Bryan R Luce, Peter J Neumann, Uwe Siebert, Sean D Sullivan
International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care 2008, 24 (3): 244-58; discussion 362-8
18601792
Health technology assessment (HTA) is a dynamic, rapidly evolving process, embracing different types of assessments that inform real-world decisions about the value (i.e., benefits, risks, and costs) of new and existing technologies. Historically, most HTA agencies have focused on producing high quality assessment reports that can be used by a range of decision makers. However, increasingly organizations are undertaking or commissioning HTAs to inform a particular resource allocation decision, such as listing a drug on a national or local formulary, defining the range of coverage under insurance plans, or issuing mandatory guidance on the use of health technologies in a particular healthcare system. A set of fifteen principles that can be used in assessing existing or establishing new HTA activities is proposed, providing examples from existing HTA programs. The principal focus is on those HTA activities that are linked to, or include, a particular resource allocation decision. In these HTAs, the consideration of both costs and benefits, in an economic evaluation, is critical. It is also important to consider the link between the HTA and the decision that will follow. The principles are organized into four sections: (i) "Structure" of HTA programs; (ii) "Methods" of HTA; (iii) "Processes for Conduct" of HTA; and (iv) "Use of HTAs in Decision Making."

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