To HTA or Not to HTA: Identifying the Factors Influencing the Rapid Review Outcome in Ireland

Shame this is behind a paywall as it looks really interesting!


Reimbursement systems are evolving and endeavor to balance access and affordability. One such evolution in Ireland is the compulsory rapid review (RR) process, the outcome from which is a recommendation for a health technology assessment (HTA) or no HTA. For drugs that avoid an HTA, evaluation times are shorter, lengthy price negotiations are avoided, and access is faster. In the absence of formal decision-making criteria around the requirement of an HTA, this study examines the factors influencing the outcome of the RR process in Ireland.

A database was developed combining data from publicly available sources for drug evaluations conducted by the National Centre for PharmacoEconomics (NCPE) (January 2010-June 2017, n = 296). Because Irish cost data were not publicly available for all drugs, cost data from the Scottish Medicines Consortium were employed as a proxy. Employing logistic regressions, the factors influencing the RR outcome are revealed.

After an RR, an HTA was recommended for 55% of drugs. The regression results revealed therapeutic area (endocrine, musculoskeletal, and neoplasm), first-in-class and orphan disease increased the probability of an HTA. Furthermore, when proxy costs were included, results revealed that every €1000 increase in annual drug costs per patient increased the probability of an HTA being required by 1% and that an HTA was more likely than no HTA when annual drug costs exceeded €15 000.

Given the current focus on access and affordability, this study identifies the factors influencing the requirement of an HTA in Ireland.

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