Analysis of a Small Group of Stakeholders Regarding Advancing Health Technology Assessment in India

Published: ViHRi May 2014

Bhavesh Jain,MSc,*, Mickaël Hiligsmann,PhD, Joseph L.Mathew,MD, Silvia M. Evers,PhD,LLM

Objectives: This study aimed to explore and understand the perspectives of a small group of stakeholders involved in health technology assessment (HTA) for evidence-informed decision making on policy in
the Indian health system.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted in April-June 2013 with policymakers,academicians,industry experts, and community representatives in India to understand their knowledge of position regarding, and interest in HTA. A semi structured questionnaire was designed on the basis of a World Health Organization framework for evidence-informed healthcare policymaking.

Results: Seven key informant interviews were conducted to represent the various stakeholders.Although there is a good understanding of HTA among the national level policymakers, academicians, civil society representatives,and industry experts,there is lack of knowledge about the subject among policymakers at the lower level. There is a positive perception about producing and using HTA for decision making among all the stakeholders interviewed.Nevertheless, at the national level,institutions prefer to treat the use of HTA evidence with caution because the capacity for adopting evidence based tools in the health system is very limited.

Conclusions: This small-size stakeholder analysis suggests a mixed response in implementing HTA in India. There are,however,factors involved in implementing such tools that can be dealt with using various approaches. Finally,there is a positive view on the national level toward pushing the HTA agenda forward to improve the decision-making process in healthcare.