Health Technology Assessment in the UK

University of Southampton, Wessex Institute, Southampton, UK. Electronic address: .
The Lancet (Impact Factor: 45.22). 10/2013; 382(9900):1278-1285. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61724-9
Source: PubMed


In this Review, we discuss the UK's Health Technology Assessment programme, which is 20 years old in 2013. We situate the programme in the context of the UK landscape for evidence-based medicine, including in relation to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and as guidance to the National Health Service. We identify features that might be of value to other health systems as they confront the challenges of rapid innovation and rising costs. We use examples of recent studies to show the strengths and weaknesses of the programme.

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  • BMJ (online) 12/2013; 347:f7155. DOI:10.1136/bmj.f7155 · 17.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the clinical relevance and newsworthiness of the UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme funded reports. Retrospective cohort study. The cohort included 311 NIHR HTA Programme funded reports publishing in HTA in the period 1 January 2007-31 December 2012. The McMaster Online Rating of Evidence (MORE) system independently identified the clinical relevance and newsworthiness of NIHR HTA publications and non-NIHR HTA publications. The MORE system involves over 4000 physicians rating publications on a scale of relevance (the extent to which articles are relevant to practice) and a scale of newsworthiness (the extent to which articles contain news or something clinicians are unlikely to know). The proportion of reports published in HTA meeting MORE inclusion criteria and mean average relevance and newsworthiness ratings were calculated and compared with publications from the same studies publishing outside HTA and non-NIHR HTA funded publications. 286/311 (92.0%) of NIHR HTA reports were assessed by MORE, of which 192 (67.1%) passed MORE criteria. The average clinical relevance rating for NIHR HTA reports was 5.48, statistically higher than the 5.32 rating for non-NIHR HTA publications (mean difference=0.16, 95% CI 0.04 to 0.29, p=0.01). Average newsworthiness ratings were similar between NIHR HTA reports and non-NIHR HTA publications (4.75 and 4.70, respectively; mean difference=0.05, 95% CI -0.18 to 0.07, p=0.402). NIHR HTA-funded original research reports were statistically higher for newsworthiness than reviews (5.05 compared with 4.64) (mean difference=0.41, 95% CI 0.18 to 0.64, p=0.001). Funding research of clinical relevance is important in maximising the value of research investment. The NIHR HTA Programme is successful in funding projects that generate outputs of clinical relevance.
    BMJ Open 05/2014; 4(5):e004556. DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-004556 · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Methods and Findings: We conducted an electronic search of the NIHR HTA programme database (inception to August 2013) for protocols describing a randomised controlled trial including a primary/secondary PRO. Two investigators independently reviewed the content of each protocol, using a specially constructed PRO-specific protocol checklist, alongside the 'Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Interventional Trials' (SPIRIT) checklist. Disagreements were resolved through discussion with a third investigator. 75 trial protocols were included in the analysis. Protocols included a mean of 32/51 (63%) SPIRIT recommendations (range 16-41, SD 5.62) and 11/33 (33%) PRO-specific items (range 4-18, SD 3.56). Over half (61%) of the PRO items were incomplete. Protocols containing a primary PRO included slightly more PRO checklist items (mean 14/33 (43%)). PRO protocol content was not associated with general protocol completeness; thus, protocols judged as relatively 'complete' using SPIRIT were still likely to have omitted a large proportion of PRO checklist items.
    PLoS ONE 10/2014; 9(10):e110229. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0110229 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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