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Investigation of Factors Considered by Health Technology Assessment Agencies in Eight Countries


  • Akira Yuasa

    (Pfizer Japan Inc
    International University of Health and Welfare)

  • Naohiro Yonemoto

    (Pfizer Japan Inc)

  • Sven Demiya

    (IQVIA Solutions Japan K.K.)

  • Chihiro Foellscher

    (IQVIA Solutions Japan K.K.)

  • Shunya Ikeda

    (International University of Health and Welfare)


Background Health technology assessment (HTA) organizations play a crucial role in optimizing healthcare resources, but the factors influencing decision making vary by country. Objective HTAs of cancer and hepatitis C drugs were evaluated across developed countries to understand differences in decision processes and criteria. Methods The HTA organizations evaluated are from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom (UK), Australia, Canada and Japan. Economic evaluation types and 28 factors in the following categories were evaluated: clinical uncertainties/issues; disease/population/treatment consideration factors including National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) special circumstances factors (e.g. end-of-life and innovation); and International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) additional value elements. Qualitative and correspondence analyses were conducted to assess the differences across organizations. Results Incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) using quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) was evaluated in Canada, the UK, Australia and Japan. The highest observed clinical uncertainties were clinical benefits and comparator. For cancer drugs, correspondence analysis showed France, Australia, Canada and the UK to have common attributes observed, such as unmet needs and stakeholder persuasion. In addition, the UK reported end-of-life, issues around current treatment and innovation, whereas Germany reported manageable/insignificant adverse events more frequently. Finally, fear of contagion, equity and scientific spillover value elements were only observed in Australia. Conclusion Although clinical factors play a predominant role in the decision to reimburse medicine, HTA organizations consider additional aspects as well. If the methodology of HTA was clearly outlined, there would be more transparency in HTA systems leading to better understanding amongst stakeholders about decision making.

Suggested Citation

  • Akira Yuasa & Naohiro Yonemoto & Sven Demiya & Chihiro Foellscher & Shunya Ikeda, 2021. "Investigation of Factors Considered by Health Technology Assessment Agencies in Eight Countries," PharmacoEconomics - Open, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 57-69, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:pharmo:v:5:y:2021:i:1:d:10.1007_s41669-020-00235-6
    DOI: 10.1007/s41669-020-00235-6

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Drummond, Michael F. & Sculpher, Mark J. & Claxton, Karl & Stoddart, Greg L. & Torrance, George W., 2015. "Methods for the Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programmes," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 4, number 9780199665884.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Journal round-up: PharmacoEconomics – Open 5(1)
      by Rita Faria in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2021-04-29 06:00:05

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