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HTAs

 

An HTA is defined as a multidisciplinary process that uses explicit methods to determine the value of a health technology* at different points in its lifecycle (O’Rourke et al. 2020). HTA aims at informing policy decision-making by independently developing accountable and reasonable recommendations that promote an equitable, efficient, and high-quality healthcare system for the benefit of the whole population served (Daniels, 2000). The process is formal (like CPG development), systematic and transparent, and uses state-of-the-art methods to consider the best available evidence. The dimensions of value for a health technology may be assessed by examining the intended and unintended consequences of using a health technology compared to existing alternatives. These dimensions often include clinical effectiveness; safety; costs and economic implications; ethical, social, cultural and legal issues; organisational and environmental aspects; as well as wider implications for the patient, relatives, caregivers, and the population (INAHTA). Health systems of democratic societies often share these values and principles, but it remains challenging to operationalise them in the HTA process. This might be achieved by systematically considering, throughout the HTA process, whether the interventions assessed fulfil the objectives of health care systems defined as the triple aim (improving the experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing per capita costs of health care), as well as improving the organisation of care and generating a positive effect on the socio-political context.  

* A health technology is an intervention developed to prevent, diagnose or treat medical conditions; promote health; provide rehabilitation; or organise healthcare delivery. The intervention can be a test, device, medicine, vaccine, procedure, programme or system.