Health technology assessment (HTA) is a multidisciplinary process that summarises the available information about the medical, social, economic, organisational, ethical and medico-legal issues related to the development, diffusion and use of a health technology.

In Ireland, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) is the official HTA agency. HIQA is mandated under the Health Act 2007 to carry out HTA and develop guidelines for HTA preparation across the Irish health system (this includes pharmaceuticals, devices, diagnostics, procedures, care pathways and public health activities). For more information on HIQA’s role, click here.

The National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE) is tasked by HIQA and the Health Service Executive to perform assessments on pharmaceutical products, in particular on whether new treatments should be made available at the State’s expense. When this assessment is complete, the NCPE makes a recommendation to the HSE’s Drugs Committee, where the final decision is made.  For more on the NCPE, click here.

  • The IPPOSI CEO sits on the HIQA HTA Advisory Group as well as its Research Advisory Group
  • HIQA representatives participate frequently as part of IPPOSI events with our membership.
  • In 2016, HIQA produced this user-friendly guidance document which provides an overview of what HTA is and how it is conducted by HIQA.
  • In 2014, HIQA produced guidelines on patient and other stakeholder involvement in HTAs which IPPOSI members provided input into as part of its consultation.
IPPOSI has a productive working relationship with the NCPE, particularly in relation to patient involvement in HTA. Some of the activities that IPPOSI has conducted with NCPE include:

  • Each year, IPPOSI invites representatives from the NCPE to deliver a training session on Health Technology Assessment in Ireland. The purpose of this session – which is open to patient members only – is to educate patients about this vital step in the process of making access to new treatments and medicines available. More information here.
  • In 2016 the NCPE introduced this Patient Group Submission Template. You can find more information about this template here.
  • In 2014 the NCPE agreed to the establishment of a live link to their online decision feed, which is what displays on the left-hand column of this page.
  • In 2012, IPPOSI held an information day regarding HTAs. A panel of expert speakers introduced those attending to the principles of pharmaco-economics and the methodology used in the HTA process in Ireland. Speakers identified the data sources used and the criteria which they apply when reaching decisions. Participants also heard about other European systems of assessment and the involvement of patients in these HTA processes. All the presentations and outcomes of this meeting are available here.
  • In 2011, key healthcare stakeholders came together at an IPPOSI-organised event to discuss the HTA system in Ireland and the role of the patient in HTA decision making. Attendees at the meeting worked to benchmark how HTAs, in principle and practice, have advanced as transparent and valuable aid to policy making in Ireland. The outcome report of this 2011 event is available here.
Health Technology Assessment International (HTAi) is a professional society for all stakeholders that seeks to develop and promote health technology assessment (HTA). IPPOSI is an active participant in the HTAi Interest Sub-Group for Patient/Citizen Involvement in HTA which is aimed at developing international consensus on a set of Values and Quality Standards for involving patients in HTA. More information on this sub-group is available here.