What does Health Technology Assessment (HTA) mean?

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Health technology assessment (HTA) is a multi-disciplinary activity aimed at evaluating the new health technologies. The methods covered by the HTA are:

  1. the systematic evaluation of the comparative value of pharmaceutical products and other health technologies;
  2. the pricing and reimbursement decisions which affect both public and private payers and;
  3. the process during which it is being decided whether the admission to the formulary is or isn’t acceptable and also during formulary management.

HTA provides decision-support to reimbursement policy

As Health Economics and Outcome Research (HEOR) provide the support needed for allowing Market Access (MA) and Policy Affairs (PO) to function properly, so does Health Technology Assessment (HTA) for assuring reimbursement policy is effective. Therefore, HTA is as important for the Policy Perspective as is Health Economics and Outcome Research essential for the Industry Perspective. Even more, being linked to health policy, HTA is always embedded in the political context of health care decisions, which means that HTA is usually embedded into a complex decision process which is dependent on political stakeholders and influencers.

HTA can drive improvement in terms of efficiency, transparency and accountability, but only when translated into actual HTA systems

Successful HTA systems follow clear policy objectives, take into consideration the institutional context and are properly implemented. There are a number of essential HTA policy objectives which, if translated into actual HTA systems, can minimize the opportunity costs the company has:

  • Provide support to health care decision makers to make their decisions better;
  • Understand the added clinical benefit and the added cost of new health technologies;
  • Increase allocative efficiency in public funding systems which are characterized by scarce resources.

Increase transparency and accountability in health care decision-making.

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