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Health technology assessment (HTA) is the systematic evaluation of various properties and effects of a health technology. HTA can serve as a bridge between the world of knowledge and that of decision making, offering decision makers the best summary of scientific evidence. Scoping HTA reports in the context of dentistry can help researchers identify grey areas; help practitioners make evidence-based decisions and further initiate better policy making.
To provide an overview on HTAs pertaining to oral health and dentistry in the past decade, map the extension and scope of the methodological practices, key findings, and limitations.
A scoping review was conducted using the Joanna Briggs Institute framework. A comprehensive search for HTA reports was done through the International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment Database from January 2010 to December 2020. Consecutively, electronic databases (PubMed and Google Scholar) were searched. Finally, thirty-six reports were included in this review and analyzed.
A total of 709 articles were initially identified, of which thirty-six met the inclusion criteria. Reviewed HTAs focused on various specialties of dentistry worldwide. Maximum number of reports (N = 5) were related to “prosthodontics and dental implants” and technologies related to preventive dentistry were most commonly assessed (N = 4).
Functional, appropriate, and evidence-based information provided through HTA pertaining to oral health on a regular basis will enable decision makers to have enough data to make decisions on the future use of new technology, modify existing policies, accelerate its translation into practice, and ensure provision of robust dental healthcare services.
Lack of access to primary care providers (PCPs) is a significant hurdle to receiving high-quality comprehensive health care and creates greater reliance on emergency departments and walk-in clinics.
We conducted a rapid review and analysis of the literature that discusses approaches to increasing access to continuous care for patients with no PCP (‘unattached patients’).
Five distinct themes across 38 resources were identified: financial incentives for patients and providers, health care organization, policy intervention, virtual care and health information technology (HIT), and medical education. Approaches that increased attachment were primary care models that combined two or more of these and reflected the Patient’s Medical Home (PMH) model.
Although there are individual initiatives that could allow for temporary relief, long-term and community-wide success lies in designing models of primary care that use multiple tools, meet the needs of the community, and are supported by regional, provincial, and national policies.
To reduce harm to the environment resulting from the production, use, and disposal of health technologies, there are different options for how health technology assessment (HTA) agencies can consider environmental information. We identified four approaches that HTA agencies can use to take environmental information into account in healthcare decision making and the challenges associated with each approach. Republishing data that is in the public domain or has been submitted to an HTA agency we term the “information conduit” approach. Analyzing and presenting environmental data separately from established health economic analyses is described as “parallel evaluation.” Integrating environmental impact into HTAs by identifying or creating new methods that allow clinical, financial, and environmental information to be combined in a single quantitative analysis is “integrated evaluation.” Finally, evidence synthesis and analysis of health technologies that are not expected to improve health-related outcomes but claim to have relative environmental benefits are termed “environment-focused evaluation.”
Lifecycle considerations have always been part of health technology assessment (HTA). However, the concept of taking a fuller, more holistic “lifecycle approach” is gaining interest in the HTA community. The 2022 HTAi Global Policy Forum (GPF) discussed how adopting a lifecycle approach could promote stakeholder engagement and robust evidence generation, and whether it could enhance information sharing and transparency across stakeholder groups. This article summarizes the discussions held at the 2022 HTAi GPF and subsequent HTAi Annual Meeting panel session that debated some of the key challenges and opportunities, with particular focus on the pre- and postmarket and disinvestment phase activities. Core themes and recommendations identified that collaboration and patient involvement are happening but still needs to be strengthened, and moving to disease-based approaches may help, although individual contexts still need to be considered. Appropriately developed and mandated core outcome sets may help with information sharing and efficiency in all lifecycle activities. Further, methods for the appropriate use of big data and digital data collection should be developed and driven by the HTA community. The value of lifecycle activities should be reviewed; in particular, scientific advice appears valuable, but the magnitude of effect is somewhat unknown due to the challenges around the confidential nature of these activities. Not all lifecycle activities can be conducted for every technology, and while there is a move away from disinvestment phase activities, more structured prioritization criteria are required. This article ends with suggested next steps to bring forward some of the priority recommendations.
Out of 185 orphan medicinal products (OMPs) registered in 2015–2021, a mere 110 (59 percent) were available to Czech patients, and only 54 (29 percent) were officially reimbursed. Moreover, this proportion has steadily decreased over time. After years of public debate induced by this unsatisfactory OMP patient access, the national viewpoint shifted toward creating a special pathway for the reimbursement of OMP. Thus, a rigorous pricing and reimbursement procedure with strict timelines and elaborated methodology has been recently adopted in Czechia.
The innovative legislation follows the recommendations for value assessment and funding processes for rare diseases and incorporates additional elements of value, such as the societal perspective. First, the application with clinical evidence, cost-effectiveness, and budget impact analyses is submitted to the governmental health technology assessment (HTA) agency by the Marketing Authorization Holder or a Health Insurance Fund. Moreover, professional associations and patients’ organizations are rightful participants in the proceeding, providing evidence and comments. Then, the HTA agency performs the assessment/appraisal of the evidence. It subsequently publishes the assessment report summarizing available information. The report is then forwarded to the Ministry of Health and its advisory body consisting of patients, clinical experts, health insurance funds, and the State. They critically evaluate the documents and issue a binding opinion following prespecified decision-making criteria. Based on this binding opinion, the decision is issued by the HTA agency. Thus, the role of the advisory body in this process is crucial.
We believe that this novel approach may offer satisfactory patient access to orphan drugs. Moreover, it serves as a real-world example of “value-based” decision making.
International solidarity is indispensable for coping with global crises; however, solidarity is frequently constrained by public opinion. Past research has examined who, on the donor side, is willing to support European and international aid. However, we know less about who, on the recipient side, is perceived to deserve solidarity. The article argues that potential donors consider situational circumstances and those relational features that link them to the recipients. Using factorial survey experiments, we analyse public support for international medical and financial aid in Germany during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our results show that recipient countries' situational need and control, as well as political community criteria, namely, group membership, adherence to shared values and reciprocity, played a crucial role in explaining public support for aid. Important policy implications result: on the donor side, fault-attribution frames matter; on the recipient side, honouring community norms is key to receiving aid.
This study aimed to investigate the association between the health security capacities at the national level and preparedness for health emergencies in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Data were extracted from the GHS report to evaluate the global health security capabilities in 180 countries. A linear regression analysis was performed with COVID-19 outcomes, as measured by the rate of incidence and vaccination doses, CFR, and PCR tests. Spearman correlation was used among potential explanatory factors.
The GHS Index was inversely correlated with CFR and incidence rates, whereas it was positively associated with the vaccination and the PCR test rates. Countries with high health security capacities were significantly more likely to provide better preparedness for health emergencies in response to the outbreak. However, the vaccination doses’ rate and the number of PCR tests were significantly differ depending on countries’ income levels.
Although health security capacity is essential to control public health emergencies effectively, it cannot predict whether or how well a country will use them in a crisis. Policymakers should identify their risk factors and capacity gaps and take into consideration the building of health security capacities in national budgets for long-term public health preparedness.
The “right to repair” movement highlights opportunities to reduce health care costs and promote public health resilience through increased competition in the way in which medical devices are serviced and updated over their lifespan. We review legislative and legal facets of third-party repair of medical devices, and conclude with specific recommendations to help this market function more efficiently to the benefit of patients and health care systems.
We provide food for thought on some pressing questions about health inequalities – why some of us maintain good health into old age, and the inequity of infectious and Non-Communicable Diseases, both very relevant now to COVID-19. We use historical perspectives and modern examples to discuss the population explosion, social determinants of health and how development over the first 1,000 days influences later health. Some ideas are likely to be quite novel to the reader, such as the risk of disease being increased by ‘mismatch’ between our developmental environment and where and how we live later. This takes the story across the globe, from high- to low-income countries, where early development is often less healthy but economic progress is changing environments fast. Can young people in such settings escape, or has the anvil on which their bodies were forged in early life left them with unalterable inequalities? We ask who needs to ‘own’ these problems and why solutions to them have been slow to emerge. The wider, global perspective, sets the scene for the final chapter which focuses on what we can all do as individuals now that we know some of the secrets of our first 1,000 days.
To investigate changes in mean sugar content of non-alcoholic beverages (overall and sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB)) available for purchase in Australia and to compare signatories v. non-signatories of the Australian Beverages Council voluntary pledge from 2018
Retrospective observational study.
About 1500 non-alcoholic beverages per year included in the FoodSwitch Monitoring Datasets for 2015–2019.
Overall, mean sugar content fell by 1·3 g/100 ml (17·1 %) from 7·5 g/100 ml in 2015 to 6·2 g/100 ml in 2019. SSB have accounted for about 56 % of all beverages available for purchase since 2015. Between 2015 and 2019, the sugar content of SSB dropped by about 10 % (0·8 g/100 ml). Soft drinks and milk-based drinks were the categories with the largest decrease in sugar content. The greater reduction in sugar observed for beverages overall than SSB suggests at least some of the overall decrease in sugar content is due to the appearance of new products with low or no sugar rather than reformulation. Over the same period, beverages with added non-nutritive sweeteners increased from 41 % to 44 %. The decrease in sugar content for all beverages and SSB was, in general, larger for non-signatories than signatories of the voluntary industry pledge.
Between 2015 and 2019, the small reduction in sugar content of non-alcoholic beverages in Australia resulted from the combined effects of introducing low- or no-sugar products and reformulation of some categories of SSB. Further policy and regulatory measures are required to reap the most benefit that sugar reduction among non-alcoholic beverages can bring to population health.
The involvement of unhealthy commodity corporations in health policy and research has been identified as an important commercial determinant contributing to the rise of non-communicable diseases. In the USA, health professional associations have been subject to corporate influence. This study explores the interactions between corporations and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), and their implications for the profession in the USA and globally.
We conducted an inductive analysis of documents (2014–2020) obtained through freedom of information requests, to assess key AND actors’ dealings with food, pharmaceutical and agribusiness corporations. We also triangulated this information with publicly available data.
The AND, AND Foundation (ANDF) and its key leaders have ongoing interactions with corporations. These include AND’s leaders holding key positions in multinational food, pharmaceutical or agribusiness corporations, and AND accepting corporate financial contributions. We found the AND has invested funds in corporations such as Nestlé, PepsiCo and pharmaceutical companies, has discussed internal policies to fit industry needs and has had public positions favouring corporations.
The documents reveal a symbiotic relationship between the AND, its Foundation and corporations. Corporations assist the AND and ANDF with financial contributions. AND acts as a pro-industry voice in some policy venues, and with public positions that clash with AND’s mission to improve health globally.
Recent disruption of medical oxygen during the second wave of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused nationwide panic. This study attempts to objectively analyze the medical oxygen supply chain in India along the principles of value stream mapping (VSM), identify bottlenecks, and recommend systemic improvements.
Process mapping of the medical oxygen supply chain in India was done. Different licenses and approvals, their conditions, compliances, renewals, among others were factored in. All relevant circulars (Government Notices), official orders, amendments, and gazette notifications pertaining to medical oxygen from April 2020 to April 2021 were studied and corroborated with information from Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO) official website.
Steps of medical oxygen supply chain right from oxygen manufacture to filling, storage, and transport up to the end users; have regulatory bottlenecks. Consequently, flow of materials is sluggish and very poor information flow has aggravated the inherent inefficiencies of the system. Government of India has been loosening regulatory norms at every stage to alleviate the crisis.
Regulatory bottlenecks have indirectly fueled the informal sector over the years, which is not under Government’s control with difficulty in controlling black-marketing and hoarding. Technology enabled, data-driven regulatory processes with minimum discretionary human interface can make the system more resilient.
The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 was one of the rare events that shocked almost every world government simultaneously, thus creating an unusual opportunity to understand how political institutions shape policy decisions. There have been many analyses of what governments did. We focus instead on what they could do, focusing on the institutional politics of agency – how institutions empower rather than how they constrain, and how they affect public policy decisions. We examine public health measures in the first wave (March-September 2020) in Brazil, India, and the U.S. to understand how the interplay of institutions in a complex federal context shaped COVID-19 policy-responses. We find similar patterns of concentrated federal executive agency with limited constraints. In each case, when federal leadership failed public health policy responses, federated, subnational states were left to compensate for these inefficiencies without necessary resources.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has exacerbated the already worsening opioid epidemic within the United States. With a continuing increase in opioid overdose deaths, measures are needed to halt the needless number of deaths and begin on a path of recovery to address all the factors that impact the epidemic. The CDC has provided various recommendations to combat the increases in opioid overdose deaths. These recommendations have included expanded distribution and use of naloxone and overdose prevention education as essential services for people most at risk of overdose. While strategies should include the increase in community resources for those with opioid disorder and shifting the perspectives of healthcare to view opioid disorder as a chronic illness that can be treated with medication such as buprenorphine, these methods are not immediate enough to stop the trend in deaths. The United States must take immediate action to expand access to and use of Naloxone for the public and first responders. Naloxone alone cannot address the magnitude of this epidemic, but it is an essential first step in preventing immediate death while a multimodal strategy is enacted to fully protect those most at risk.
Strong primary care does not develop spontaneously but requires a well-developed organizational planning between levels of care. Primary care-oriented health systems are required to effectively tackle unmet health needs of the population, and efficient primary care organization (PCO) is crucial for this aim. Via strong primary care, health delivery, health outcomes, equity, and health security could be improved. There are several theoretical models on how primary care can be organized. In this position paper, the key aspects and benchmarks of PCO will be explored based on previously mentioned frameworks and domains. The aim of this position paper is to assist primary care providers, policymakers, and researchers by discussing the current context of PCO and providing guidance for implementation, development, and evaluation of it in a particular setting. The conceptual map of this paper consists of structural and process (PC service organization) domains and is adapted from frameworks described in literature and World Health Organization resources. Evidence we have gathered for this paper shows that for establishing a strong PCO, it is crucial to ensure accessible, continuous, person-centered, community-oriented, coordinated, and integrated primary care services provided by competent and socially accountable multiprofessional teams working in a setting where clear policy documents exist, adequate funding is available, and primary care is managed by dedicated units.
The aim of this scoping review is to map the available evidence about the use of health technology assessment (HTA) in the assessment of whole genome sequencing (WGS).
A scoping review methodology was adopted. The population, concept, and context framework was used to build up the research question and to establish the eligibility criteria. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews was adopted to implement a comprehensive search strategy. Evidence was retrieved from scientific databases and HTA organizations Web sites. Reports were classified as full HTA, mini-HTA, rapid reviews or other.
The search strategy identified seven reports. Five HTA organizations from five countries elaborated the reports: one full HTA, four rapid reviews, and two classified as others. The reports were mainly focused on the evaluation of the clinical utility and cost-effectiveness of genome-wide sequencing as well as informing policy questions by providing analyses of organizational and ethical considerations.
Few HTA organizations are drafting reports for WGS. It is essential to stimulate a critical reflection during the elaboration of HTA reports for WGS to steer choices of decision makers in the establishment of priorities for research and policy and reimbursement rates.
To provide an update on the use of health technology assessment (HTA) in Asia and lessons for countries seeking to advance HTA.
Build upon the research by Chootipongchaivat and the World Health Organization identifying eighteen “factors conducive to the development of HTA in Asia.” These factors were used to create a balanced scorecard to assess the progress of HTA, measuring progress against each factor in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. A scoring system was used wherein: 1, No progress; 2, milestone at early stages, ad hoc HTA use; 3, progress on milestone but limited impact; 4, significant progress but limited remit; and 5, significant progress on milestone, routine HTA informs decisions. Total scores indicated progress of HTA while milestone scores provided contextual insights within countries. Literature reviews and expert interviews were used to complete scorecards.
South Korea and Thailand scored highest with seventy-three and seventy-one points, respectively, while Vietnam scored lowest at 28.5. Advanced HTA programs have independent HTA agencies with a broad remit, explicit process and methods, network of researchers, and routine use of HTA. Taiwan and Malaysia fall in a middle tier, with established HTA programs with limited remit. The final tier with China, India, Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam, emerging HTA processes.
Universal Health Coverage goals have catalyzed expansion of HTA. Political will, technical expertise, and sustained financing remain challenges for sustainable HTA programs. Legislation supporting HTA is helpful but political will is key. Recommendations for regional collaboration are provided.
Undergraduate research in nursing has demonstrated effectiveness in producing emerging scholars and leaders for the profession by nurturing the spirit of inquiry, creativity, and collaboration needed to advance the profession. Undergraduate research in nursing opens a window of creativity, mentoring, longitudinal relationships, and inspiration for the bright and gifted students entering the profession. The diverse nature of nursing provides a broad spectrum of transformative research opportunities for nursing students to establish scholarly identity at the launch of their careers. These range from diverse curricular models, clinical research internships, service-learning/global initiatives, faculty-led studies, and interprofessional research collaboration. Nursing theories guide research projects grounded in the discipline. Visionary leadership with adequate resources and a strategic approach to undergraduate research mentoring yield mutually beneficially outcomes in the process of developing requisite skills for graduate studies. Nursing education transformation that fosters a research culture contributes to a bright future with a vision of global significance.
The UK's relationship with the European Union (EU) is now embodied in two principal legal instruments: the EU–UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which formally entered into force on 1 May 2021; and the Withdrawal Agreement, with its Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, which continues to apply. Using a ‘building blocks’ framework for analysis of national health systems derived from the World Health Organisation, this article examines the likely impacts in the UK of this legal settlement on the National Health Service (NHS), health and social care. Specifically, we determine the extent to which the trade, cooperation and regulatory aspects of those legal measures support positive impacts for the NHS and social care. We show that, as there is clear support for positive health and care outcomes in only one of the 17 NHS ‘building blocks’, unless mitigating action is taken, the likely outcomes will be detrimental. However, as the legal settlement gives the UK a great deal of regulatory freedom, especially in Great Britain, we argue that it is crucial to track the effects of proposed new health and social care-related policy choices in the months and years ahead.
The 2021 Health Technology Assessment International (HTAi) Asia Policy Forum (APF) aimed to explore the challenges and opportunities presented by the global COVID-19 pandemic for health systems and industry in the Asia region, to discuss how HTA changed during the pandemic, and what its role may be moving forward into a postpandemic era.
Discussions during the virtual 2021 APF, informed by a premeeting survey of HTA agencies and industry attendees from the region describing their experience during the pandemic, form the basis of this paper.
During the pandemic, regulatory approval for COVID-related technologies was fast-tracked with fewer evidentiary requirements, and little or no HTA being conducted before these technologies were implemented in health systems in the region. “Living HTA” incorporating real-world evidence (RWE) as it was generated became part of the HTA landscape. In comparison, non-COVID technologies experienced regulatory approval and HTA delays. A major concern of APF members was future pandemic preparedness, and to ensure that lessons are learned from COVID-19. Governments need to continue to invest in innovation and allow early regulatory approvals with the increased use of RWE. Capacity building was identified as a key investment, including capacity in HTA, modeling, as well as local production of necessary supplies and equipment. Finally, collaboration at all levels of the health system was viewed as vital.
Post-COVID, different forms of HTA must be embraced as part of the new HTA landscape in addition to increased intra- and intercountry collaboration across all sectors of the health system, including regulatory bodies.