Global Medicines Program

January 24, 2014

GMP Report on Health Technology Assessment in Low- and Middle-Income Countries Receives International Attention

Lou Garrison presenting HTA in LMICs

This USAID-supported study carried out by GMP staff has been presented by Professor Lou Garrison, who is on sabbatical this year at the Office of Health Economics in London, at several international meetings–mostly recently in July 2013, at the International Health Economics Association meeting in Sydney, Australia. It was presented earlier in Santiago, Chile, in January at the Instituto de Salud Publica, where a new health technology assessment (HTA) organization is under development; in February at the Japanese embassy in London, UK, to the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where there is interest in supporting the development of HTA in low-income countries; and at the Basel Biometrics Society meeting in Switzerland in June before an international audience of biostatisticians and others interested in drug development.

Led by Professor Garrison, the team of Professor Joseph Babigumira, Becky Bartlein, and Hiep Nguyen completed the study in September of 2012.  Supported under Management Sciences for Health’s Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS) Program, the study also drew upon MSH staff in the twelve countries surveyed for their knowledge about the local status of HTA.   The responding countries were:  DRC, Ethiopia, Namibia, Rwanda, Swaziland, Kenya, Afghanistan, Dominican Republic, Bangladesh, Jordan, South Africa, and Vietnam.   Three in-depth country studies were also carried out for Kenya, South Africa, and Vietnam.  Overall, the use of HTA in the surveyed low- and middle-income countries is extremely limited.  And the lack of local, trained professionals is a major challenge for the development and implementation of HTA in these settings.  The report emphasized that information about the performance of health technologies is a global public good, and some sharing of information is optimal and needs to be supported to sustain globally efficient HTA.