Objectives: The aim of this study was to develop criteria for the prioritization of topics for health technology assessment (HTA) in the healthcare system of Kazakhstan.
Methods: Initial proposals for criteria were suggested through consultation with Ministry of Health (MoH) policy areas. These were refined through a workshop attended by HTA department staff, persons from medical universities and research institutes, and MoH policy makers. The workshop included discussion on methods used in international HTA practice. Opinions of participants on selection of criteria from those specified in a review of prioritization processes were used to define a list for inclusion in an instrument for routine use. A scoring system was established in later discussion.
Results: Selected criteria for HTA prioritization were burden of disease, availability of alternative technology, clinical effectiveness, economic efficiency, budget impact, and ethical, legal, and/or psychosocial aspects. For each criterion, a health technology under consideration is given a score from 3 (High) to 1 (Low). The total score determines whether the technology is of high to medium priority or of low priority. Determination of priorities for assessment, using the instrument, should be carried out by an expert group appointed by the MoH. The process was applied in 2014 to a selection of topics, and three health technologies were chosen for full assessments.
Conclusions: Criteria for prioritization have evolved with development of the HTA program in Kazakhstan. A method for HTA prioritization has been developed that is easy to apply, requires comparatively few resources, and is compatible with processes required by the MoH.