A potential indicator for measuring the success of HTA development

Nattha Tritasavit and Chalarntorn Yothasamutra


One day I was perusing the news and came across an article about the inclusion of five new high-cost drugs in the Thai benefits package. Unbeknownst to me, the Thai Universal Health Coverage (UHC) released a news article in all domestic newspapers informing the public that the Director-General of the National Health Security Office (NHSO), which manages UHC, claimed that the decision to include the high-cost drugs by the NHSO board was made based on evidence supported by an HTA agency. This was regardless of the fact that there is no law in place mandating the use of evidence to inform policy in Thailand. We write about this event not to proclaim the success of an HTA agency in a low- and middle-income country, but to share our view regarding a possible indicator for measuring HTA impact.

Developing HTA systems in low- and middle income countries, one of the aims of the iDSI, is regarded as one of the most challenging tasks. Establishing HTA in any setting does not only include completing HTA reports and training local staff to conduct HTA, but it also means institutionalizing HTA and creating social capital from it. This case illustrates the impact of making HTA attractive enough for decision makers to use it willingly as a defense for their decisions to the public.

Note: the evidence generated for one of the high-cost drugs was conducted in collaboration with Silapakorn University and Ramathibodi Hospital.

See more research about HTA project at www.hitap.net

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Finding the true north of evidence-based policy development

Finding the true north of evidence-based policy development

By: Yot Teerawattananon and Nattha Tritasavit

Finding true north is important for accurate navigation to embarking on the right path. While there may be many paths to making policy decisions, the ultimate goal is to end up with a decision that has been well-informed by evidence. Evidenced-based policy decisions result in more transparent and effective outcomes that are defendable to the public. A case in point is the expansion of antiretroviral treatment (ART) for HIV/AIDS in Thailand. Continue reading

Prof David Haslam, Chair of NICE, speaks at the 67th World Health Assembly in support of priority-setting for UHC

The 67th World Health Assembly, Geneva, May 2014

The 67th World Health Assembly, Geneva, May 2014

At the 67th World Health Assembly in Geneva in May 2014, a resolution was adopted on Health intervention and technology assessment in support of universal health coverage. Prof David Haslam, Chair of NICE, representing the UK Mission Geneva, addressed the Assembly during a panel session on the role of priority-setting in universal health coverage, alongside counterparts from Thailand, Iran, Ethiopia and the World Health Organisation.  The resolution called on Member States to develop and strengthen national and regional capacities for priority-setting, and for the WHO to support these efforts.  WHO Director General, Dr Margaret Chan, attended the session and made supportive remarks about the work of NICE, which was named as a “resource organisation” for health technology assessment. Continue reading

iDSI launches global public good: questionnaire on priority-setting readiness


iDSI aims to help policymakers in low and middle income countries in building capacity for active priority-setting, such that they can spend limited health budgets in a more efficient and equitable way, and achieve sustainable universal health coverage (UHC). In order to help achieve iDSI this aim, we at NICE International have developed a questionnaire to assess countries’ ‘priority-setting readiness’. We believe this is the first published questionnaire that comprehensively captures priority-setting readiness at a health systems level, beyond the technical dimension of health technology assessment (HTA).

We are now making this questionnaire freely available as a global public good, and we hope it will be useful to policymakers, global health funders, academics and international development partners.

Download iDSI Priority-setting Questionnaire v1.0 – Jun 2014

Our questionnaire builds on an earlier questionnaire developed jointly with HITAP for the purposes of a training workshop in Hanoi, Vietnam (Situation analysis of HTA Introduction at national level, version 2.0, October 2013; for non-commercial use only).

Continue reading

Event on 17 June, Washington DC: Improving the Use of Economic Evaluation for Global Health Funders

As part of a series of events coinciding with the launch of the Gates Reference Case, Tommy Wilkinson (Adviser for Health Economics, NICE International) will be speaking on Tuesday 17 June 2014 at a lunch seminar hosted by the Center for Global Development, Washington DC. If you missed our launch event in London or are attending the HTAi conference, here’s your chance to find out why the Gates RC is important for global health funders, policymakers and researchers alike; and how it will help improve the quality of economic evaluations to ensure that limited resources in health are invested in the best possible way. All are welcome to join the discussion on Twitter using #GatesRC hashtag!

Location, Date & Time

Center for Global Development

2055 L St NW - Fifth Floor

WashingtonDC 20036


Tuesday, June 17, 2014
1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

See CGD event page for further information

Gates Foundation calls for more principled cost-effectiveness in health

Damian Walker, Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, explains why they need better economic evaluations

Damian Walker, Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, explains why they need better economic evaluations

This is a post by Amanda Glassman reproduced with permission of the Center for Global Development

Cost-effectiveness studies compare the costs and benefits of different interventions with the aim of improving decisions on the allocation of scarce resources for health.  Or, put simply, they allow policy-makers to set priorities for health spending and consider how the next dollar available can get more health for the moneyContinue reading