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Evolution of health technology assessment: best practices of the pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review

Authors Rocchi A, Chabot I, Glennie J

Received 10 February 2015

Accepted for publication 16 March 2015

Published 3 June 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 287—298


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Giorgio Lorenzo Colombo

Angela Rocchi,1 Isabelle Chabot,2 Judith Glennie3

1Athena Research Inc., Burlington, ON, 2EvAccess Inc., Vaudreuil-Dorion, QC, 3JL Glennie Consulting Inc., Aurora, ON, Canada

Background: In 2007, Canada chose to develop a separate and distinct path for oncology drug health technology assessment (HTA). In 2013, the decision was made to transfer the pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR) to the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH), to align the pCODR and CADTH Common Drug Review processes while building on the best practices of both. The objective of this research was to conduct an examination of the best practices established by the pCODR.
Methods: A qualitative research approach was taken to assess the policies, processes, and practices of the pCODR, based on internationally accepted best practice “principles” in HTA, with a particular focus on stakeholder engagement. Publicly available information regarding the approach of the pCODR was used to gauge the agency's performance against these principles. In addition, stakeholder observations and real-world experiences were gathered through key informant interviews to be inclusive of perspectives from patient advocacy groups, provincial and/or cancer agency decision-makers, community and academic oncologists, industry, expert committee members, and health economists.
Results: This analysis indicated that, through the pCODR, oncology stakeholders have had a voice in and have come to trust the quality and relevance of oncology HTA as a vital tool to ensure the best decisions for Canadians with cancer and their health care system. It could be expected that adoption of the principles and processes of the pCODR would bring a similar level of engagement and trust to other HTA organizations in Canada and elsewhere.
Conclusion: The results of this research led to recommendations for improvement and potential extrapolation of these best practices to other HTA organizations worldwide, along with suggestions for continued evolution of the pCODR in conjunction with its integration into the CADTH. It is clear that the transition of the pCODR to CADTH provides an opportunity for practices initiated by the pCODR to become the standard for these newly amalgamated HTA agencies in Canada.

Keywords: health technology assessment, oncology, reimbursement, drugs

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