Potential role of Health Technology Assessment (HTA) in Healthcare

Health Technology Assessment (HTA)

Potential role of Health Technology Assessment (HTA) in Healthcare
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Health technology assessment is among the most cost-effective use of health technologies. The concept of Health technology assessment (HTA) acts as a mechanism for decision-makers to allocate best resources to future medical technologies (G. Turchetti, 2010). HTA can only be facilitated through evidence-based decision-making in health-related cost and clinical effectiveness, the safety of medical devices, vaccines, and medicines.

Many nations have adopted health technology assessment (HTA). HTA is well established in some countries. Countries like the US, Canada, Spain, Germany and the UK have started using HTA in the 20thcentury. Countries have agencies or centres for HTA for strengthening health systems by making evidence-based healthcare decisions.

It also acts as a national policy tool for financial sustainability and helps in the appropriate allocation of limited available resources with affordability and effectiveness, providing broad access to healthcare.

HTA covers many aspect of healthcare like:

a. Prevention Programmes such as Vaccination

b. Diagnosis

c. A device or drug

d. Or a procedure

National Institution for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the United Kingdom have made quality standards for the best quality health outcomes. It assesses the new medications and treatments; it evaluates the cost-effectiveness and guides how public health and social care services can be more effective based on evidence. The biomedical industry is the fastest-growing industry in the United States, and the intervention of new medical technologies is the critical driver of the rising cost of health care. However, it leads to healthcare delivery's unsustainability (K. Chalkidou, 2013).

India aims to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) through Health technology assessment in terms of extending healthcare services using its best decision making or deciding to get the proper intervention at the lowest possible cost. The main targets in India are to assess Direct- indirect consequences of technologies, the best allocation of funds in healthcare, the intervention of medicines, programmes to achieve PMJAY and reduce OOPE through HTA, and the Right Intervention at Low Cost.

The government of India has created the Health Technology Assessment in India (HTAIn) under the Department of Health Research (DHR). India is  the leading producer of vaccines, but the vaccine coverage and its supply chains hinders access due to the high cost of vaccines. HTA in India should shape the vaccine characteristics based on its safety, mode of administration, number of vaccine doses, storage, target population, purchasing and delivery cost to provide to maximize the public health impact.

Early HTA makes a country capable of economic evaluation and prepares it for price negotiations and coverage decisions (Christopher Painter, 2020). Countries with low out of pocket expenditure or political will and legislation made a positive difference. However, in India, where people are already fighting with high healthcare costs and private expenditure, highlights the importance of HTA in India for making crucial decisions related to financial matters.