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Improving Access to High-Cost Technologies in the Asia Region

  • Linda Mundy (a1), Rebecca Trowman (a2) and Brendon Kearney (a3)



Discussions at the Health Technology Assessment International (HTAi) Asia Policy Forum (HAPF) aimed to understand the meaning of “high-cost technologies,” and to explore mechanisms to increase access to these technologies in publicly funded health systems in the Asia region.


Discussions and presentations at the 2018 HAPF, informed by a literature review and a premeeting survey of HTA agencies and industry, form the basis of this paper.


Challenges payers in the public health system face when investing in high-cost technologies include a lack of data, especially real-world data, affordability, and the budgetary impact of high-cost technologies. Managed entry schemes (MES) are one means to enable earlier access to high-cost technologies, or at reduced cost to the system. Most countries surveyed had used an MES to introduce a new health technology and most industry representatives had experience with financial-based MES, such as discounts or rebates, with most put in place to increase access to pharmaceuticals. Little experience of outcome-based or evidence-generation MES was reported.


Although it is early days in the implementation of MES in Asia, they have the potential to play an important role enabling access to new, mainly pharmaceutical, health technologies. The development of a “road map” of MES in the region should outline the intent and need for a MES, articulating the “rules of engagement” for all stakeholders—patients, providers, payers, and industry—which will assist countries to clearly identify the problem trying to be solved, and how an MES can be part of the solution.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Linda Mundy, E-mail:


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The authors thank the members of the HTAi Asia Policy Forum and, in particular, the members of the Policy Forum Organizing Committee and invited speakers who attended the 2018 meeting. This article is based on discussions at the HTAi 2018 Asia Policy Forum held October 29 to 30 in Jakarta, Indonesia.



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