Does the use of health technology assessment have an impact on the utilisation of health care resources? Evidence from two European countries

Belén Corbacho Martín, Mike Drummond, Rita Santos, E Jones, J M Borras, J Mestre-Ferrandiz, J Espin, N Henry, A Prat

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Objectives: A centralised approach to health technology assessment (HTA) may facilitate optimal use of HTA resources. A regional approach may increase the chances of local implementation of recommendations. This study aimed to compare assessment procedures in England (centralised HTA approach) with Spain (regional HTA approach) discussing key challenges and opportunities from both approaches. Methods: We compared technology assessments of anticancer medicines in the two jurisdictions from 2008 to 2015. In order to assess the implementation of HTA recommendations, we assessed trends in medicine usage using regression methods. We used IQVIA data, from 2011 to 2016, for a sample of 11 medicines. We used CatSalut data from Catalonia to assess the implementation of local recommendations. Results: In England 66 assessments were undertaken by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), using a standardised methodology. In Spain there were 79 reports undertaken by a range of bodies using a shared process and coordinated through the GENESIS collaboration; the assessment methods used varied substantially. Overall, the recommendations in the two jurisdictions were similar. Regression analyses indicate that where there is a positive recommendation by HTA bodies, the usage of the medicine responds most strongly (p<0.001) in Catalonia (=4.892), followed by England ( =3.120) and Spain ( =1.693). Conclusions: This study suggests that medicine utilisation does respond to the positive recommendations of HTA bodies. However, if HTA capacity is organised primarily regionally, considerable effort may be required in coordination, in order to ensure consistent and rigorous assessments and adequate implementation of HTA findings.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalThe European Journal of Health Economics
Early online date5 Feb 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2020


  • HTA methods
  • decision making
  • cost-effectiveness
  • cancer

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