The Impact of Health Technology Assessment on Drug Development

Mattison, N.

Briefing
March 2009

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Health technology assessment (HTA) has become a critical basis for pricing and reimbursement decision-making worldwide. In some countries, extensive requirements for data are set out in guidances or regulation and apply to all new prescription medicines; in others, HTA is required of industry or performed by payers only for therapies expected to be particularly costly.  Although the effect of HTA on spending for prescription medicines is studied often, far less attention is given to its effects on decisions about research and development in the biopharmaceutical industries.

This Briefing reports on the results of a survey of 19 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, a sample sufficient to provide an important snapshot of current industry perspectives on the impact of HTA. Responses show that the pharmaceutical industry is adjusting to the realities of today's cost conscious health care systems by incorporating HTA considerations early on in development decisions. The survey also reveals some frustration with uncertainties in the current environment that make difficult the most efficient use of development resources.  The initiatives suggested aim at improving communication and  creating collaboration among a range of stakeholders, both to smooth today’s interactions and to devise and test new, more efficient processes for the longer term.