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Assessing Technologies for COVID-19: What are the Challenges for Health Technology Assessment Agencies? Findings From a Survey and Roundtable Workshop


  • Jamie Elvidge

    (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE))

  • Dalia Dawoud

    (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
    Cairo University)


Background To date, health technology assessment (HTA) agencies have not been at the forefront of decision making regarding the adoption of interventions for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Instead, policymakers have prioritised rapid action in response to the pandemic emergency, with no assessment of value for money. As COVID-19 vaccination coverage increases and healthcare systems begin to recover, HTA agencies will be expected to assess technologies for COVID-19. Objective We aimed to identify the key challenges when assessing therapeutic and diagnostic technologies for COVID-19, from the perspective of HTA agencies, and identify whether there is a case for novel HTA methods and/or processes to address them. Methods We used a mixed-methods approach, by conducting an online survey of HTA agencies, to collect data about the challenges faced when assessing or planning to assess diagnostic and therapeutic technologies for COVID-19. The online survey was followed by a ‘roundtable’ workshop of HTA agencies’ representatives to discuss the results and to elaborate on their responses. Results We received 21 completed surveys (response rate of 45%) and 11 of the respondents joined the roundtable discussion. Five themes emerged from the responses: assessing clinical effectiveness (44%), assessing cost effectiveness (19%), practical (19%), political (11%), and decision making (11%) challenges. At the roundtable, attendees elaborated on the challenges and identified two additional themes: how HTA agencies have responded to the pandemic to date, and how their role might change over time. Conclusion HTA agencies face both methodological and logistical challenges when assessing or planning to assess technologies for COVID-19. An interim best-practice HTA framework to address the key challenges would be valuable.

Suggested Citation

  • Jamie Elvidge & Dalia Dawoud, 2021. "Assessing Technologies for COVID-19: What are the Challenges for Health Technology Assessment Agencies? Findings From a Survey and Roundtable Workshop," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 39(12), pages 1455-1463, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:pharme:v:39:y:2021:i:12:d:10.1007_s40273-021-01097-4
    DOI: 10.1007/s40273-021-01097-4

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