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
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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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.
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