HTA criteria used to evaluate diagnostics

When evaluating a new diagnostic, HTA agencies must assess two separate issues: analytical and clinical validity. Analytical validity basically indicates whether the test works; is it able to accurately predicts the presence or absence of a particular biomarker of interest. Clinical validity is whether the test matters in clinical practice.  It could be the case…

ICER vs. NICE

A nice (pun intended) paper by Thokala et al. (2020) compares the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) along 4 dimensions: structure, methods, process, and use in decision-making. While ICER and NICE methods are fairly similar, ICER is a non-governmental body without any explicit…

How should we define “unmet need”?

Many health technology assessment (HTA) agencies give additional consideration to treatments if there is unmet need. But what really defines unmet need?  According to an article by Vreman et al. (2019), there are three key elements.  First, there should be no or limited treatment alternatives.  If there are lots of good treatment options available, then…

Adding the patient perspective to health technology assessment

Health technology assessments (HTAs) aim to measure the cost effectiveness of a given treatment or set of treatments for a specific patient populations.  Often, these assessments are conducted from the point of view of the payer–either a national health system or the individual insurer perspective.  This payer focused perspective can often focus largely on treatment costs rather…

What influences NICE decisions?

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) claims that although cost-effectiveness is highly valued in its health technology appraisal process, it sates that there are other factors considered relevant.  However, no explicit weight is assigned to these other factors.  Do they matter? A paper by Dakin et al. (2015) tries to answer this question by looking…