• In February 2019 President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Universal Health Care Act, ensuring all Filipinos are guaranteed equitable access to quality and affordable health services and automatically enrolled to the National Health Insurance Program, paving the way towards universal healthcare for the Philippines. Evidence-based decision-making in health is a key pillar of UHC, and iDSI is supporting the newly established HTA Unit, the technical body within the Department of Health (DOH) managing the HTA process and conduct, the HTA Council, the legally mandated appraisal committee, and other stakeholders to develop capacities to generate and use relevant HTA evidence.

Our Impact

iDSI’s engagement with the Philippines dates back to 2012, when the Global Health and Development Group (formerly NICE International) and HITAP worked with the Pharmaceutical Division of the Department of Health (DOH) to demonstrate how health technology assessment (HTA) could inform coverage decisions for vaccines and medicines. Since then, the collaboration has supported economic evaluation studies on the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, antenatal HIV/AIDS screening for national implementation, renal replacement therapy, and breast cancer drugs. iDSI also provided technical support to rapid reviews of both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 technologies. iDSI also supported the reassessment of the PCV implementation in the country. Filipino partners joined HTAsiaLink conferences and participated in regional activities such as a capacity building initiative on HTA for tobacco control funded by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and a survey on HTA capacity among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Inputs from the Philippines were included in developing a guidance document on the “Use of Real-World Data and Real-World Evidence to Support Drug Reimbursement Decision-Making in Asia”.

iDSI’s engagement has helped support on the following:

Technical support for the PCV reassessment for national implementation:

Provided foundational support to the creation of STEP, the national HTA unit

Comprehensive situational analysis for HTA in the Philippines

In 2018, iDSI reviewed the HTA landscape in the Philippines, including through stakeholder interviews, covering the past, present and planned future statuses of HTA. This analysis shaped the evolution of the Centre for Review of Health Technologies (STEP), which has now been incorporated into the HTA Technical Secretariat and the HTA Policy, Planning, and Evaluation (PPE) Unit under the Health Regulations Team of the DOH. The HTA Technical Secretariat and PPE Unit’s roles are to lead in coordinating and implementing HTA activities for both DOH and PhilHealth, the national health insurance corporation attached to DOH.

iDSI’s present collaboration with the HTA Technical Secretariat and PPE Unit aims to support the various HTA-related activities currently undertaken in order to strengthen the evidence-informed priority-setting system and decision-making in the Philippines.

Building HTA capacity among the HTA Unit and key national stakeholders

iDSI is supporting the HTA Technical Secretariat and PPE Unit to strengthen their technical capacities and meet urgent evidence needs in the country. This includes their participation in technical workshops provided by HITAP and the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2020 and 2021 on introductory HTA, advanced modelling, and distributional cost-effectiveness analysis. IDSI also supports the development of HTA researchers by supporting researchers pursue higher education in HTA at Mahidol University and NUS.

HITAP has also hosted interns at its office as part of its efforts to build capacity for HTA. In terms of building capacity of other stakeholders, IDSI conducted an HTA workshop for the HTA Council and supported a high-level event on HTA hosted by the DOH. To facilitate knowledge exchange between the Philippines and other countries, a colleague from the Philippines participated in a side meeting at the Prince Mahidol Award Conference (PMAC) in 2020. In the past year, iDSI has also been supporting evidence generation needs around COVID-19 technologies and interventions.

Key reads

A cost-utility analysis of cervical cancer screening and human papillomavirus vaccination in the Philippines

Do Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccines Represent Good Value for Money in a Lower-Middle Income Country? A Cost-Utility Analysis in the Philippines.

Vaccination program in a resource-limited setting: A case study in the Philippines

Health Technology Assessment capacity development in low-and middle-income countries: Experiences from the international units of HITAP and NICE

Incorporating economies of scale in the cost estimation in economic evaluation of PCV and HPV vaccination programmes in the Philippines: a game changer?

Blog: The Philippines HTA Unit Step Visits HITAP

PCV Reassessment for National Implementation

Filtering for the best policy: An economic evaluation of policy options for kidney replacement coverage in the Philippines

Strengthening healthcare decision-making in the Philippines and beyond

Evidence Appraisal Workshop for Philippine HTA Council (Mission Report)

Guidance document on the Use of Real-World Data and Real-World Evidence to Support Drug Reimbursement Decision-Making in Asia

Prince Mahidol Award Conference (PMAC) Side Meeting Details: Attain & Sustain Health Gains: Incorporating Value-For-Money in the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Dialogue

Adjuvant trastuzumab regimen for HER2-positive early-stage breast cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Economic evaluation of carbetocin as prophylaxis for postpartum hemorrhage in the Philippines