A blueprint for health technology assessment capacity building: lessons learned from Malta

Katharina Abraham*, Ingelin Kvamme, Sylvana Magrin Sammut, Simone De Vries, Tanya Formosa, Rudy Dupree, Isaac Corro Ramos, Wim Goettsch, Margreet Franken

*Corresponding author for this work

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Objectives The development and strengthening of health technology assessment (HTA) capacity on the individual and organizational level and the wider environment is relevant for cooperation on HTAs. Based on the Maltese case, we provide a blueprint for building HTA capacity. Methods A set of activities were developed based on Pichler et al.'s framework and the starting HTA capacity in Malta. Individual level activities focused on strengthening epidemiological and health economic skills through online and in-person training. On the organizational level, a new HTA framework was developed which was subsequently utilized in a shadow assessment. Awareness campaign activities raised awareness and support in the wider environment where HTAs are conducted and utilized. Results The time needed to build HTA capacity exceeded the planned two years accommodating the learning progress of the assessors. In addition to the planned trainings, webinars supplemented the online courses, allowing for more knowledge exchange. The advanced online course was extended over time to facilitate learning next to the assessors' daily tasks. Training sessions were added to implement the new economic evaluation framework, which was utilized in a second shadow assessment. Awareness by decision-makers was achieved with reports, posters, and an article on the current and developing HTA capacity. Conclusions It takes time and much (hands-on) training to build skills for conducting complex assessment such as HTAs. Facilitating exchange with knowledgeable parties is crucial for succeeding as well as the buy-in of local managers motivating staff. Decision-makers need to be on-boarded for the continued success of HTA capacity building.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere11
JournalInternational Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2024

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© The Author(s), 2024. Published by Cambridge University Press.


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