Draft HTA of birth cohort testing for hepatitis C

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Birth Cohort Testing

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has launched a public consultation on a draft health technology assessment (HTA) of offering one-time testing for the hepatitis C virus (HCV) to people in Ireland born between 1965 and 1985.

HIQA undertook the HTA following the publication of the National Clinical Effectiveness Committee’s National Clinical Guideline for Hepatitis C Screening. The National Clinical Guideline, endorsed by the Minister for Health in 2017, conditionally recommended offering birth cohort testing subject to the outcome of a full HTA.
From reviewing the evidence, HIQA has found that the diagnostic tests used to detect chronic HCV are highly sensitive and specific. The currently available treatments are safe and very effective. Based on an Irish-specific economic analysis, HIQA has found that offering one-time testing to people born between 1965 and 1985 represents a cost-effective use of resources. However, the short-term budget impact and organisational implications of implementing birth cohort testing would be significant, particularly in terms of primary care and laboratory capacity.

The project was supported by an expert advisory group with representation from patient representatives, clinicians with relevant expertise, the Department of Health, the HSE, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre and methodology experts.

HIQA wants to hear the views of the Irish public on this draft report before it is finalised. Taking into account the responses from the public, a final report will be prepared for consideration by the HIQA Board before providing advice to the Minister for Health. HIQA invites members of the public to give feedback on the draft report by 27 April 2021. The completed assessment will be submitted to the Minister for Health and the Health Service Executive as advice and published on the HIQA website.

The easiest way to give your feedback is to complete the online survey here.

Or complete a PDF version of the consultation form available below, and e-mail the completed consultation form to consultation@hiqa.ie

The deadline for receipt of submissions is 5pm on Tuesday, 27 April 2021.

At the end of this public consultation, your comments will be collated and will be used to inform the final Health Technology Assessment.

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