Health Technology Assessment in India: a beginning for healthcare decision making




Poster session 4


Tuesday 25 October 2016 - 15:30 to 16:00


All authors in correct order:

Sinha A1, Shekhar C1, Grover A1, Walia K1, Radhika A2
1 Indian Council of Medical Research, India
2 Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, India
Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author:

Anju Sinha

Contact person:

Abstract text
Background: Evidence-informed prioritization of interventions is essential for achievement of health policy goals in low- and middle-income countries like India. At present healthcare decision-making in India is not driven by evidence. With the Right to Information Act and the Lokpal Bill coming into practice, evidence-based policy-making has become crucial. The Department of Health Research is committed to formalising a platform for Health Technology Assessment in the current five-year plan to fill the evidence-practice gap and promote informed decision-making.

Objective: To assess progress made towards a functional Health Technology Assessment (HTA) mechanism in India.

Method: A multidisciplinary national consultative process has begun at the Department of Health Research (DHR), with the participation of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, and institutions like the South Asian Cochrane Centre, Translational Health Science & Technology Institute, National Health Systems Resource Centre under National Health Mission Program, Schools of Public Health and the WHO Country Office. A roadmap has been chalked out to establish a Health Technology Assessment board in India with overall governance structure, defined roles for institutional partners to assess economical, societal and ethical impact of technologies, and build a strong public interface. A national innovation portal and a network of knowledge translation centres are being rolled out.

Results: The HTA compendium has been established, 15 disease conditions have been identified for development of drugs, devices and vaccines on a priority basis, based on feedback from State Government and civil societies. Early in this process, as a dry run for assessment of imaging equipment, treatment protocols for snake bite and cervical cancer screening have been initiated.

Conclusion: Establishment of a functional HTA is expected to improvise health policy decision-making in India. It would lead to rational drug pricing, uniformity in clinical practice guidelines, and prioritization in implementation of proven interventions given the budgetary constraints.