Health technology assessments prove useful in Japan, China, South Korea

Systematic evaluations of the effects of health technologies in Japan, China, and South Korea conducted over the past three years are showing success in determining the clinical benefits and cost-effectiveness of widely used drugs, adjusting pricing of drugs and medical devices and reducing health insurance premiums, according to research published in the journal Value of Health.

Health technology assessments (HTAs) are the systematic evaluation of both the intended and unintended properties and effects of health technologies to inform decision making regarding their use. They are increasingly employed in the United States and Western Europe but have been adopted much more slowly by Asian countries.

But HTAs conducted in Japan, Korea, and China since 2016 are having an impact. Despite challenges, the three countries are obtaining key data from the assessments which are useful in determining the real value of drugs and devices for patients, how health technologies should be priced and what sort of reimbursement should be deemed appropriate for each.