Health technology assessment in India: The potential for improved healthcare decision-making.

Kumar, M; Ebrahim, S; Taylor, FC; Chokshi, M; Gabbay, J; (2014) Health technology assessment in India: The potential for improved healthcare decision-making. The National medical journal of India, 27 (3). pp. 159-63. ISSN 0970-258X

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Health technology assessment (HTA) is a multidisciplinary approach that uses clinical effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, policy and ethical perspectives to provide evidence upon which rational decisions on the use of health technologies can be made. It can be used for a single stand-alone technology (e.g. a drug, a device), complex interventions (e.g. a rehabilitation service) and can also be applied to individual patient care and to public health. It is a tool for enabling the assessment and comparison of health technologies using the same metric of cost-effectiveness. This process benefits the patient, the health service, the healthcare payer and the technology producer as only technologies that are considered cost-effective are promoted for widespread use. This leads to greater use of effective technologies and greater health gain. The decision-making process in healthcare in India is complex owing to multiplicity of organizations with overlapping mandates. Often the decision-making is not evidence-based and there is no mechanism of bridging the gap between evidence and policy. Elsewhere, HTA is a frequently used tool in informing policy decisions in both resource-rich and resource-poor countries. Despite national organizations producing large volumes of research and clinical guidelines, India has not yet introduced a formal HTA programme. The incremental growth in healthcare products, services, innovation in affordable medical devices and a move towards universal healthcare, needs to be underpinned with an evidencebase which focuses on effectiveness, safety, affordability and acceptability to maximize the benefits that can be gained with a limited healthcare budget. Establishing HTA as a formal process in India, independent of healthcare providers, funders and technology producers, together with a framework for linking HTA to policy-making, would help ensure that the population gets better access to appropriate healthcare in the future.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology
PubMed ID: 25668089
Web of Science ID: 348244000010


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