Health Technology Assessment Policy and Methods Review

The Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Policy and Methods Review is an opportunity to ensure Australia’s HTA policy is constantly improving under evaluation.

The HTA Review Reference Committee is finalising its report and recommendations to the Australian Government having examined feedback, views, and analysis received throughout the HTA Review. This includes feedback and views provided through Consultation 1 and 2, in depth discussions, and research and analysis papers. 

The Reference Committee asked for a short extension until 4 May 2024 which the Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Mark Butler MP has granted.

About the HTA Review

Health technology assessments inform Australian Government decisions to fund and subsidise health technologies through subsidy schemes and funding programs. This includes:

  • the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
  • the Medicare Benefits Schedule
  • the National Immunisation Program
  • the Life Saving Drugs Program.

An HTA involves a range of processes and mechanisms that use scientific evidence to assess health technologies for their:

  • quality
  • safety
  • efficacy
  • effectiveness
  • cost-effectiveness. 

Health technology assessment methods evolve constantly. This means we must review and update them regularly.

The HTA Review is one of the main commitments under the 2022–27 Strategic Agreement between the Commonwealth and Medicines Australia. Under the agreement, the Commonwealth has committed to supporting and resourcing the HTA Review, which a reference committee will oversee. 

The Minister for Health and Aged Care has appointed the following individuals to the reference committee.

Member Role on the HTA Review Reference Committee
Adjunct Professor Debora Picone AO Independent Chair
Ms Ann Single Patient Representative
Dr Dawn Casey PSM Patient Representative
Professor Andrew Wilson Chair of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC)
Professor Andrew Roberts AM Clinical/Scientific Representative
Ms Elizabeth de Somer Member nominated by Medicines Australia
Ms Adriana Platona PSM Government Nominee

Strategic agreements with the medicines industry

The HTA Review is one of the key commitments in the strategic agreement.

The strategic agreement includes commitments to several reforms and reform processes which ensure that Australians can:

  • access break-through new medicines as early as possible
  • deliver a strong and uninterrupted supply of the medicines Australians use every day.

Resources

The committee's role and details about its meetings are on the HTA Review Reference Committee page.

See our collection of research and analysis papers.

Why it is important

Our commitment to support and resource the HTA Review was made in recognition of goals shared with Medicines Australia. 

The goals are:

  • reducing time to access for Australians so that they can access new health technologies as early as possible
  • maintaining the attractiveness of Australia as a first-launch country to build on Australia’s status as a world leader in providing access to affordable healthcare
  • ensuring that our assessment processes keep pace with rapidly advancing health technology and minimise barriers to access.

Goals

The HTA Review will examine HTA policy and methods, while consulting stakeholders to identify features that:

  • are working effectively
  • may act as current or future barriers to earliest possible access
  • may act as current or future barriers to equitable access
  • detract from person-centredness
  • may be creating perverse incentives.

Terms of reference

The HTA Review terms of reference sets out:

  • the background to the HTA Review
  • how the HTA Review will take account of recent and concurrent reform processes that impact HTA
  • HTA Review objectives
  • areas under consideration by the HTA Review.

The final terms of reference takes into account feedback from organisations representing:

  • patients
  • consumers
  • industry
  • advisory bodies
  • Commonwealth and state and territory governments.

The reference committee gained feedback from a range of stakeholders. A list is available in the 1 December 2022 and 19 December 2022 meeting communiques.

Research and analysis

The HTA Review Reference Committee has agreed on experts in HTA to support the HTA Review. This includes:

  • the University of Adelaide (Adelaide Health Technology Assessment)
  • the University of Technology Sydney (Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation)
  • the University of New South Wales Sydney (Centre of Research Excellence in Medicines Intelligence).

Along with stakeholder feedback collected through consultations, the HTA Policy and Methods Review will be informed by:

  • papers analysing policy and methods used by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee
  • contemporary research
  • relevant methodologies
  • purchasing practices used by comparable international jurisdictions.

Experts in HTA will prepare these papers. We will publish them over time as the drafts are finalised. See our collection of research and analysis papers.

Have your say

There will be multiple opportunities for stakeholders to give input during the HTA Review. This is to make sure that the reference committee is well-informed and understands issues and perspectives from a broad range of stakeholders.

Consultation 1

The first public consultation for the HTA Review (Consultation 1) closed on 6 June 2023. The HTA Review Reference Committee received a large number of materials and feedback for the HTA Review. This includes:

  • more than 100 stakeholder submissions in Consultation 1
  • deep-dives on a wide range of topics
  • research and analysis papers prepared by HTA experts. 

We published the responses from Consultation 1 and provided the submissions to the reference committee for the HTA Review for its consideration. See the Consultation 1 page for published responses and more information.

The Consultation 1 report presents a summary and synthesis of submissions received through Consultation 1. It was developed by CHERE to support the deliberations of the HTA Reference Committee.

Expressions of interest for deep-dive discussions with the reference committee were open to all stakeholders from 16 May 2023 to 1 September 2023. Deep-dive discussions were aimed at helping the reference committee to gain an in-depth understanding for specific complex topics, issues, challenges, and opportunities for HTA as agreed by the reference committee.

The reference committee considered stakeholder feedback alongside expert input and extensive research to develop an Options Paper. It details options for reform to be workshopped with stakeholders through Consultation 2, the second round of public consultation.

Consultation 2

Consultation 2 was held from 25 January to 23 February 2024. It included an opportunity to make submissions through an online survey and online and in-person workshops. The purpose of Consultation 2 was for the reference committee for the HTA Review to obtain feedback from interested individuals and organisations on the options for reform to health technology assessment and funding set out in its Options Paper. The Options Paper for Consultation 2 is available on the Office of Health Technology Assessment consultation hub

Consultation 2 was the final of multiple consultation activities undertaken during the review. Details about the approach to consultation activities for the review is in the Consultation Plan Overview.

The reference committee is considering all evidence and input it received in Consultation 2 and throughout the review as it develops its final report and recommendations to the Australian Government. 

The review is due to be completed by 4 May 2024. For an overview of the work of the review including key milestones, see the HTA Review Work Plan overview.

Subscribe to PBS News and Updates to keep up to date with the HTA Review and receive notifications about HTA Review stakeholder consultations.

Learn more

If you have any questions about the HTA Policy and Methods Review, see our frequently asked questions.

For definitions of terms used in the HTA Review, see our glossary.

Contact

HTA Review Secretariat

Contact for the Health Technology Assessment Review
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