Background: Health technology assessment (HTA) examines the consequences of the application of health technologies and is aimed at better informing decision-makers. Over the past 30 years, different countries have implemented HTA organizations. Colombia established by law its own HTA agency (IETS) in 2011 which started operations in November 2012. The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of conducting and using HTA to inform decision-making in this context. Through a qualitative approach, ten “drivers” emerged with the ability to help or hinder HTA development in this context: availability and quality of data, implementation strategy, cultural aspects, local capacity, financial support, policy/political support, globalization, stakeholder pressure, health system context, and usefulness perception.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with key HTA researchers, after following rigorous transcription, and thematic content analysis, those aspects that may be barriers or facilitator for HTA development and use in Colombia were identified.
Results: Although HTA has become a tool to inform decision-making around the world, its use may vary according to setting. Determining those aspects which may enable or interfere with HTA development and use in Colombia may be useful for other countries when considering the establishment of HTA systems.
Conclusions: The conceptual transferability of concepts like “drivers” with caveats may be of interest for similar settings trying to incorporate HTA processes and institutions into systematic decision-making.