Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature Health Technology Assessment

NICE goes global

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 28 January 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b103

HTA and the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

Assessments and appraisals are almost universal in developed countries, but as a recent study by the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies shows,2 only in England and Wales are they integrated with decision making, legally binding, national in scale, and put into practice in a system with a single paymaster.

This quote can be read to imply that NICE is alone in the world in linking funding to HTA, when rather it's alone in Europe.

The Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme extends funding only to drugs that are shown to be cost effective. Unlike the NICE model, drug sponsors prepare the HTAs, which the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee then puts out to review (via contracted groups in academic institutions).

Competing interests:
NPS is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

Competing interests: No competing interests

30 January 2009
Malcolm B Gillies
Medical Writer
National Prescribing Service Limited, Surry Hills NSW 2010, Australia