Ukrainian MOH Introduces Health Technology Assessment Department
A health technology assessment (HTA) is an evidence-based instrument to identify which medicines, medical devices, and treatment regimens are optimal for the state to support. It significantly reduces opportunities for corruption and helps countries move toward self-reliance in the health sector.
A National Health Technology Assessment Forum took place in Kyiv, Ukraine, on February 28, 2019, to further advance HTA as an important priority-setting tool for Ukraine’s health system.
Photo credit: Igor Dashevskiy
The event brought together 130 stakeholders who are instrumental for the successful implementation of HTA in Ukraine, including the Ministry of Health, State Expert Center, National Health Service of Ukraine, Public Health Center, academe, donors, development partners, patient organizations, and industry. International thought leaders guided participants to develop an outline for an HTA roadmap in Ukraine. Following technical presentations, participants defined:
- Priority directions for HTA in Ukraine
- The needs of HTA doers and users
- Legislative and procedural challenges
- HTA risks and mitigation strategies
- Market access challenges and opportunities for innovative technologies
These five key components will form the backbone of the HTA roadmap, which will be finalized by the Ministry of Health with technical support from USAID’s SAFEMed (Safe, Affordable, and Effective Medicines for Ukrainians) project.
Dr. Rabia Kahveci, Senior Technical Advisor for SAFEMed, leads a discussion around key HTA topics. Photo credit: Igor Dashevskiy
HTAs are used by many European Union countries to identify the most optimal health care solutions by comparing safety, clinical efficacy, and cost and providing recommendations to the Ministry of Health. Based on such scientific recommendations, the respective Ministry of Health selects the technology that provides the best value for management of specific diseases and conditions.
“HTA is rooted in evidence-based research. It helps policy makers make sound and justifiable decisions on the purchase of technologies and medicines that provide the best value for their citizens.” said Suzan K. Fritz, USAID Regional Mission Director for Ukraine and Belarus.
Left to right: Dr. Roman Illyk, Deputy Minister of Health, Suzan K. Fritz, USAID Regional Mission Director for Ukraine and Belarus, and Inna Sacci, Project Director SAFEMed. Photo credit: Igor Dashevskiy
HTA is used not only to select technologies for the treatment of diseases. It is also applied to develop preventive public health measures. For example, HTA can help to determine which vaccines or diagnostics should be in place to prevent certain conditions or diseases.
Dr. Roman Ilyk, the Deputy Minister of Health, noted at the forum that the establishment of an HTA is a giant step toward more cost-effective health care and healthier Ukrainians living longer. “Our goal is to develop a standalone, independent HTA agency, as we need to use this approach not only to expand the Affordable Medicines Program and improve the National Essential Medicines List, but also to inform the NationalBenefits Package as well as public procurement," he stated.