Health technology assessments
We use health technology assessments (HTAs) to inform our decisions about which health technologies can be sold in Australia, and which ones qualify for Australian Government subsidy.
There are 2 main health technology assessment (HTA) processes:
Health technologies must have market authorisation before they can be included in Australian Government–subsidised programs.
Australians benefit from HTAs because they ensure taxpayers’ money supports safe, effective healthcare improvements.
Types of health technology we assess
We use HTAs to assess:
- pharmaceuticals (including vaccines)
- diagnostic tests
- medical devices
- surgically implanted prostheses
- medical procedures
- public health interventions.
Who conducts an HTA
In Australia, several advisory and regulatory bodies provide HTAs and advise us on their findings.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) assesses the safety, quality and efficacy of new health technologies entering the Australian market. If they approve an item, they grant market authorisation and the item can be legally sold in Australia.
Three principal health technology advisory committees assess whether health technologies qualify for Australian Government subsidy:
- Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC)
- Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC)
- Prostheses List Advisory Committee (PLAC).
Our HTA system is guided by the principles outlined in the 2009 report Review of health technology assessment in Australia. HTA processes should be:
- transparent, accountable and independent
- consultative and reflective of Australian community values
- administratively efficient
- flexible and fit for purpose
- informed by robust and relevant evidence.