Objectives: The objectives of the study were to establish a benchmarking tool to collect metrics to enable increased clarity regarding the differences and similarities across health technology assessment (HTA) agencies, to assess performance within and across HTA agencies, identify areas in the HTA processes in which time is spent and to enable ongoing performance improvement.

Methods: Common steps and milestones in the HTA process were identified for meaningful benchmarking among agencies. A benchmarking tool consisting of eighty-six questions providing information on HTA agency organizational aspects and information on individual new medicine review timelines and outcomes was developed with the input of HTA agencies and validated in a pilot study. Data on 109 HTA reviews from five HTA agencies were analyzed to demonstrate the utility of this tool.

Results: This study developed an HTA benchmarking methodology, comparative metrics showed considerable differences among the median timelines from assessment and appraisal to final HTA recommendation for the five agencies included in this analysis; these results were interpreted in conjunction with agency characteristics.

Conclusions: It is feasible to find consensus among HTA agencies regarding the common milestones of the review process to map jurisdiction-specific processes against agreed metrics. Data on characteristics of agencies such as their scope and remit enabled results to be interpreted in the appropriate local context. This benchmarking tool has promising potential utility to improve the transparency of the review process and to facilitate both quality assurance and performance improvement in HTA agencies.

If you have any questions or comments on this paper, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Tina Wang: twang@cirsci.org