HIQA launches updated Economic Evaluation and Budget Impact Analysis Guidelines

Date of publication:

The Health Information and Quality Authority has today published updated health technology assessment (HTA) guidelines that assist decision makers in evaluating the cost-effectiveness and budget impact of health technologies. HTA can ensure that the resources available are used as effectively as possible. The guidelines are aimed at improving the accuracy of HTAs undertaken for the Irish healthcare system.

Dr Máirín Ryan, Director of Health Technology Assessment at HIQA, said: “At a time of ever increasing pressure on health budgets, it is of vital importance that treatments offered by the publicly-funded health system are cost-effective and provide maximum value for money. The purpose of the economic evaluation and budget impact guidelines is to promote the production of health technology assessments that are timely, reliable, consistent and relevant to the needs of decision makers and key stakeholders.”

Dr Ryan continued: “There is a growing awareness of the relevance and value of HTA, so we need to ensure that best practice is adhered to. These guidelines present clear and robust advice to both the people who produce HTAs, and to those who have to make the hard decisions about funding technologies. The Authority believes that these guidelines contribute to better technology assessment and thereby help deliver safer better healthcare to the public.”

Although these guidelines are aimed primarily at decision makers within the publicly-funded health and social care system, the findings of a HTA may also have implications for other key stakeholders in the Irish healthcare system. These include the general public, patient groups, clinicians and the manufacturing industry, among others.

The publication of these updated guidelines follows a period of consultation to facilitate input from the general public, and was supported by a scientific advisory group comprising a range of experts in health technology assessment.

Further Information: 

Sinead Whooley, Communications Manager, Health Information and Quality Authority
Tel: 01 8147488/ 087 9221941 Email: swhooley@hiqa.ie

Notes to the Editor: 

  • Economic evaluation addresses both the costs and health benefits associated with a health technology.
  • Budget impact analysis (BIA) predicts the potential additional financial impact of the use of a new technology in a healthcare system with finite resources.
  • The aim of the HTA guidelines is to produce HTAs that provide decision makers with information that is useful, relevant and timely and to ensure that healthcare interventions used in Ireland are clinically effective for patients, are affordable, and are good value for money.
  • These are an updated version of the HTA guidelines originally published by the Authority in 2010. Updates include changes to the VAT and discount rates since 2010, and numerous minor changes reflecting changes to HTAmethodology.
  • The guidelines apply to HTA being conducted by, or on behalf of the Health Information and Quality Authority, the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics, the Department of Health, and the Health Service Executive (HSE), to include health technology suppliers preparing applications for reimbursement. The guidelines are intended to be applicable to all healthcare technologies, including medications, procedures, medical devices, and broader public health initiatives. They are relevant to the assessment of both new and existing healthcare technologies.