Objectives: In recent years, there has been growth in the use of health technology assessment (HTA) for making decisions about the reimbursement, coverage, or guidance on the use of health technologies. Given this greater emphasis on the use of HTA, it is important to develop standards of good practice and to benchmark the various HTA organizations against these standards.
Methods: This study discusses the conceptual and methodological challenges associated with benchmarking HTA organizations and proposes a series of audit questions based on a previously published set of principles of good practice.
Results and Conclusions: It is concluded that a benchmarking exercise would be feasible and useful, although the question of who should do the benchmarking requires further discussion. Key issues for further research are the alternative methods for weighting the various principles and for generating an overall score, or summary statement of adherence to the principles. Any weighting system, if developed, would need to be explored in different jurisdictions to assess the extent to which the relative importance of the principles is perceived to vary. Finally, the development and precise wording of the audit questions requires further study, with a view to making the questions as unambiguous as possible, and the reproducibility of the assessments as high as possible.
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