— Informed by expert Advisory Group and input from external stakeholders, White Paper highlights ongoing need to develop and test new methods for HTA groups in the US and internationally —

BOSTON, March 15, 2023 – The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) has published a new White Paper: “Advancing Health Technology Assessment Methods that Support Health Equity.” This paper evaluates the functions of health technology assessment (HTA) through an equity lens and proposes key methods through which HTA can support society’s goal of improving health equity for racial, ethnic, and other socially disadvantaged groups.

“Progress must be made to ensure that the methods of HTA fully incorporate considerations of health equity,” said ICER’s Vice President of Research Foluso Agboola, MBBS, MPH.  “Decision-makers want to understand the implications and opportunities for health equity when they use evidence to guide pricing and insurance coverage.  We have looked hard at every step of our work to ask whether we and other HTA groups can do better.  One approach we will spearhead is a framework to evaluate clinical trial diversity, which will elevate the conversation on clinical trial diversity and enhance transparency and accountability, consequently promoting equity in access to clinical trials of new drugs.”

ICER’s Director of Health Economics Melanie Whittington, PhD, MS stated, “ICER has experimented since its founding with different ways to make the consideration of factors beyond clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness more transparent and consequential in technology appraisal. There is a need for HTA bodies to know how to incorporate equity into the methods of health technology assessment, and whether that can be achieved through novel methods that are extensions to traditional cost-effectiveness analyses, through evidence-informed deliberative practices, or both.”

As part of this project ICER convened a senior advisory group – consisting of patient advocates, payers, HTA and policy experts – to provide guidance and feedback on all aspects of the project. The major areas of focus for the paper are the following elements of HTA: 

  1. Selecting health care interventions for assessment 
  2. Engaging patients and patient groups in the HTA process  
  3. Evaluating the diversity of participants in clinical trials 
  4. Analyzing results by subpopulations 
  5. Measuring the opportunity to reduce health disparities 
  6. Promoting health equity through quantitative methods of cost-effectiveness analysis   
  7. Promoting health equity through deliberative methods of appraisal 

Public Webinar

On March 21 at 1 PM ET, we will host a public webinar to discuss the key findings from our final report. Key recommendations from this paper will be presented by ICER authors Foluso Agboola, MBBS, MPH, Vice President of Research, and Melanie Whittington, PhD, MS, Director of Health Economics.  This presentation will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by ICER President, Steve Pearson, MD, MSc, featuring leaders in health equity and research from among members of the advisory group convened as part of this project:

  • Rebekah Angove, PhD, Executive Vice President, Research and Evaluation; Director, Patient Insight Institute, Patient Advocate Foundation
  • Linda Goler Blount, MPH, President and CEO, Black Women’s Health Imperative
  • Praveen Thokala, PhD, MASc, Senior Research Fellow, School of Health and Related Research, The University of Sheffield

About ICER

The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) is an independent non-profit research institute that produces reports analyzing the evidence on the effectiveness and value of drugs and other medical services. ICER’s reports include evidence-based calculations of prices for new drugs that accurately reflect the degree of improvement expected in long-term patient outcomes, while also highlighting price levels that might contribute to unaffordable short-term cost growth for the overall health care system.