A content analysis of Health Technology Assessment programs in Latin America.

TitleA content analysis of Health Technology Assessment programs in Latin America.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsArellano LE, Reza M, Blasco JA, Andradas E
JournalInternational journal of technology assessment in health care
Date Published2009 Oct
KeywordsComparative Effectiveness Research; Cost-benefit analysis; Humans; Latin America; Outcome Assessment (Health Care); Technology Assessment, Biomedical
AbstractOBJECTIVES: Health Technology Assessment (HTA) is a relatively new concept in Latin America (LA). The objectives of this exploratory study were to identify HTA programs in LA, review HTA documents produced by those programs, and assess the extent to which HTA aims are being achieved. METHODS: An electronic search through two databases was performed to identify HTA programs in LA. A content analysis was performed on HTA documents (n = 236) produced by six programs between January 2000 and March 2007. Results were analyzed by comparing document content with the main goals of HTA. RESULTS: The number of HTA documents increased incrementally during the study period. The documents produced were mostly short HTA documents (82 percent) that assessed technologies such as drugs (31 percent), diagnostic and/or screening technologies (18 percent), or medical procedures (18 percent). Two-thirds (66 percent) of all HTA documents addressed issues related to clinical effectiveness and economic evaluations. Ethical, social, and/or legal issues were rarely addressed (<1 percent). The two groups most often targeted for dissemination of HTA information were third-party payers (55 percent) or government policy makers (41 percent). CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that while HTA programs in LA have attempted to address the main goals of HTA, they have done so through the production of short documents that focus on practical high-technology areas of importance to two specific target groups. Clinical and economic considerations still take precedence over ethical, social, and/or legal issues. Thus, an integrated conceptual framework in LA is wanting.
Alternate JournalInt J Technol Assess Health Care