Health Technology Assessment From a Canadian Device Industry Perspective
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Health technology assessment has significantly improved the decision-making process via the thorough and systematic evaluation of the clinical utility and cost-effectiveness of new drugs and health technologies. However, the device industry faces a significant challenge in meeting the evidentiary demands of the health technology assessment process, particularly given the small size of the Canadian market and device manufacturers. This is further compounded by the somewhat short-sighted nature of health care budgets, which see medical devices as a cost-driver given the sometimes significant upfront investment required to implement a technology producing downstream benefits in the long-term. Industry is the research and development of the health care system, but innovative development could be stifled unless the health technology assessment process recognizes the risk of manufacturers. The authors propose that health technology assessment can be improved by recognizing the challenges that device manufacturers face and by sharing the risk associated with evaluations of effectiveness. Health technology assessment is a powerful tool that can be used to evaluate new and potentially obsolete technologies alike, with the goal of meeting the needs of patients as customers of both the device industry and the health care system.
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