Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore definitions of value and the use of budget impact and affordability considerations in health technology assessment (HTA) in the Asia region, particularly in relation to high cost technologies.
Methods: Issues were debated by senior representatives from HTA and payer systems in Asian countries, delegates from industry, and invited experts at the 2016 meeting of the HTAi Asia Policy Forum (HAPF). A premeeting survey was used to gather data on how value is assessed and budget impact calculations are used within current processes, as well as current approaches to managing affordability.
Results: All systems consider health benefit to be the key component of value. There is little consensus around “wider” elements of value that should be included. All systems use budget impact in decision making, although meeting attendees noted the challenges in making accurate estimates. The most common strategies used to address affordability concerns to date have been: restricting coverage, for example, to patients who are likely to get the highest value; discounts; and revenue caps. It was noted that these “solutions” may have unintended consequences of creating inequitable access to therapies and failing to provide adequate rewards for innovation.
Conclusions: Decision makers, HTA agencies, and industry need to continue to work together to find mutually agreeable solutions to ensure that patients continue to get equitable access to effective therapies at costs that can be afforded throughout the Asia region.