Dr Steve Pearson on Using Health Technology Assessment to Guide Decision Making
Health technology assessment (HTA) is a tool that helps to objectively evaluate evidence, which levels the playing field for new therapies looking to demonstrate cost-effectiveness, according to Steve Pearson, MD, MSc, president of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review. In doing so, stakeholders can better understand the balance between innovation and affordability.
Transcript (slightly modified) What impact can health technology assessment have on budgeting and innovation?
Well, HTA is supposed to be a tool to help decision making. It by itself doesn’t make decisions; it’s supposed to help foster the right kinds of decisions. We have to decide how we are going to balance the incentives for innovation with the affordability for the healthcare system, and that’s a tension that every health system around the world faces today, but they’ve also faced it in the past.
What HTA does is it tries to make sure that it takes an objective and transparent approach to judging the evidence, so that the discussions about how we innovate and how we price and how we pay for services can be held on the basis of fairly evaluated evidence. It helps raise the bar and make sure that everybody is playing on the same level playing field.
In many cases, it will highlight tension between innovation and affordability, but that’s what we need. We need it clearly highlighted, we need it fairly discussed, and so I think HTA has a really important role to play in supporting that kind of conversation.