The Health Technology Assessment programme in India (HTAIn): two exciting developments

By Françoise Cluzeau Aug. 14, 2019

The International Decision Support Initiative (iDSI) is proud to support India as it continues to make huge strides towards health priority setting.  iDSI has an ongoing technical assistance programme with the Government of India through the Department of Health Research (DHR) with a focus on Health Technology Assessment (HTA).

The Health Technology Assessment programme (HTAIn) which is funded by the Government of India, is now fully operational. Coordinated by a dedicated Secretariat based at the DHR, the HTAIn also works with ten designated Indian technical partners who produce Health Technology Assessment (HTA) studies on topics of national importance. iDSI has provided key technical assistance to the HTAIn Secretariat to train their technical partners on all steps required to conduct an HTA study. In the past 6 months over ten HTA reports have been finalised and approved by the Technology Appraisal Committee (TAC). Among them, the results of the HTA study on Intra Ocular Lens for cataract Surgery and safe syringes informed the definition and costing of the Health Benefits Package for the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM_JAY )in India, the largest nationally funded public healthcare scheme in the world. States across India are increasingly looking to HTAIn for evidence-based advice on how to incorporate health technologies into the health system.

A recent and exciting development is that HTAin has launched its dedicated website: Among other things, the website features information on HTAIn structure including theTAC and its HTA methods process. Developed with iDSI support, the website also features HTAIn current activities and the HTA reports prepared by HTAInTechnical partners. The HTAIn website also links with major national initiatives, including the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER) PGIMER Costing database, a tool for health policy makers and analysts that provides unique information on the unit costs of health services in India.

With these new tools, a host of different stakeholders at both central and state level in India have access to valuable resources that will help them make evidence-based priority decisions on health technologies in India. They also ensure transparency in the way HTAIn operates, working to international standards. As the PM_JAY evolves HTAIn will play an increasingly important role in helping the Government of India make considered decisions on the distribution of health budget resources, as well as timely uptake of good value technologies  and in advancing Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for its population.