Are Key Principles for improved health technology assessment supported and used by health technology assessment organizations?

P.J. Neumann, M.F. Drummond, B. Jonsson, B.R. Luce, J.S. Schwartz, U. Siebert, S. Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previously, our group-the International Working Group for HTA Advancement-proposed a set of fifteen Key Principles that could be applied to health technology assessment (HTA) programs in different jurisdictions and across a range of organizations and perspectives. In this commentary, we investigate the extent to which these principles are supported and used by fourteen selected HTA organizations worldwide. We find that some principles are broadly supported: examples include being explicit about HTA goals and scope; considering a wide range of evidence and outcomes; and being unbiased and transparent. Other principles receive less widespread support: examples are addressing issues of generalizability and transferability; being transparent on the link between HTA findings and decision-making processes; considering a full societal perspective; and monitoring the implementation of HTA findings. The analysis also suggests a lack of consensus in the field about some principles-for example, considering a societal perspective. Our study highlights differences in the uptake of key principles for HTA and indicates considerable room for improvement for HTA organizations to adopt principles identified to reflect good HTA practices. Most HTA organizations espouse certain general concepts of good practice-for example, assessments should be unbiased and transparent. However, principles that require more intensive follow-up-for example, monitoring the implementation of HTA findings-have received little support and execution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


  • Cost-effectiveness analysis
  • Health technology assessment
  • Health policy

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