Avoiding health technology assessment: a global survey of reasons for not using health technology assessment in decision making.
Teerawattananon Y., Painter C., Dabak S., Ottersen T., Gopinathan U., Chola L., Chalkidou K., Culyer AJ.
IntroductionDespite the documented benefits of using health technology assessments (HTA) to inform resource allocation in health care systems, HTA remains underused, especially in low- and middle-income countries. A survey of global health practitioners was conducted to reveal the top reasons ("excuses") that they had heard from colleagues, policymakers or other stakeholders for not using HTA in their settings.MethodsThere were 193 respondents to the survey. Most responses were from individuals in research organisations (37%), ministries of health (27%) and other government agencies (14%). Participants came from Southeast Asia (40%), the Western Pacific (30%), Africa (15%), Europe (7%), the Americas (7%) and the Eastern Mediterranean region (2%).ResultsThe top five reasons encountered by respondents related to lack of data, lack of technical skills for HTA, the technocratic nature of the work, the lack of explicit decision rules and the perception that HTA puts a "price on life".ConclusionsThis study aimed to understand and address the top reasons for not using HTA. They fall into three categories: (1) misconceptions about HTA; (2) feasibility issues; and (3) values, attitudes and politics. Previous literature has shown that these reasons can be addressed when identified, and even imperfect HTA analyses can provide useful information to a decision-maker.