Objectives: The aim of this study was to develop and apply an instrument to map the level of health technology assessment (HTA) development at country level in selected countries. We examined middle-income countries (Argentina, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, and Russia) and countries well-known for their comprehensive HTA programs (Australia, Canada, and United Kingdom).
Methods: A review of relevant key documents regarding the HTA process was performed to develop the instrument which was then reviewed by selected HTAi members and revised. We identified and collected relevant information to map the level of HTA in the selected countries. This was supplemented by information from a structured survey among HTA experts in the selected countries (response rate: 65/385).
Results: Mapping of HTA in a country can be done by focusing on the level of institutionalization and the HTA process (identification, priority setting, assessment, appraisal, reporting, dissemination, and implementation in policy and practice). Although HTA is most advanced in industrialized countries, there is a growing community in middle-income countries that uses HTA. For example, Brazil is rapidly developing effective HTA programs. India and Russia are at the very beginning of introducing HTA. The other middle-income countries show intermediate levels of HTA development compared with the reference countries.
Conclusions: This study presents a set of indicators for documenting the current level and trends in HTA at country level. The findings can be used as a baseline measurement for future monitoring and evaluation. This will allow a variety of stakeholders to assess the development of HTA in their country, help inform strategies, and justify expenditure for HTA.