To gain knowledge and insights on health technology assessment (HTA) and decision-making processes in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe (CESEE) countries.
A cross-sectional study was performed. Based on the literature, a questionnaire was developed in a multi-stage process. The questionnaire was arranged according to 5 broad domains: (i) introduction/country settings; (ii) use of HTA in the country; (iii) decision-making process; (iv) implementation of decisions; and (v) HTA and decision-making: future challenges. Potential survey respondents were identified through literature review—with a total of 118 contacts from the 24 CESEE countries. From March to July 2014, the survey was administered via e-mail.
A total of 22 questionnaires were received generating an 18.6% response rate, including 4 responses indicating that their institutions had no involvement in HTA. Most of the CESEE countries have entities under government mandates with advisory functions and different responsibilities for decision-making, but mainly in charge of the reimbursement and pricing of medicines. Other areas where discrepancies across countries were found include criteria for selecting technologies to be assessed, stakeholder involvement, evidence requirements, use of economic evaluation, and timeliness of HTA.
A number of CESEE countries have created formal decision-making processes for which HTA is used. However, there is a high level of heterogeneity related to the degree of development of HTA structures, and the methods and processes followed. Further studies focusing on the countries from which information is scarcer and on the HTA of health technologies other than medicines are warranted.