Scientists Feel India Should Introduce HTA
Health Policy

Scientists Feel India Should Introduce HTA

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After attending the 5th Asia Pacific Conference of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) at Taipei in Taiwan in early this month, Scientists of Pharmacoeconomics observed India should introduce the Healthcare Technology Assessment (HTA) in a better way in order to assess the effective use of medicines, devices, equipment and other interventions used in health care.

The technology assessment tool can find out effects of drug actions including adverse drug reactions, felt Dr Y Padmanabha Reddy and Dr Dixon Thomas, the pharmacoeconomic scientists at the Raghavendra Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research at Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh, who represented India in the conference.

They opined that over the past fifty years, healthcare sector has undergone an incommensurable technology improvement, not only in terms of knowledge, but also in investments in equipment, medical devices and medicines. But the assessment was developed in order to study the role of technology in modern society and any risk of its misuse, while at the same time the study of health technology’s impact on safety, cost and effectiveness.

According to them technology assessment in health care is a multidisciplinary field of policy analysis that uses the best available scientific evidence on the medical, social, ethical, and economic implications of interventions used in health care. The process helps identify best practices in health care, thereby enhancing safety, quality and cost savings.

Dr Dixon Thomas said, “India being a vast country and a growing economy, use of current scientific principles in healthcare could marginally influence serving of millions of people in a better way. Scientific culture in India is growing but still there are serious regulatory issues in new drug development in the country. Implementation of HTA with the help of ISPOR professionals will make the county a safer place for clinical research and practice.”

The research scientists in the field of pharmacoeconomics presented a new tool in pharmacovigilance in ISPOR conference in Taiwan. His finding on the new tool termed as “Days Lost due to Disability” (DLD) was originally developed from the World Health Organization tool ‘Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALY)’ which is used to measure the burden of diseases or illness on health. He conducted a study on Adverse Drug Reactions of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) in which he used the new tool, DLD for the first time.

DLD is a useful indicator of assessing the burden of ADRs managed in different healthcare settings with varying resources. It takes into account the number of incidences, its duration and the quality of life or utility component which is called as DW (Disability Weight).

Referring his study on 1000 prescriptions of diclofenac tablet, he said the most occurring ADRs were on gastrointestinal system (48 per cent). Abdominal pain occurred for 107 times. There were only 34 cases of peptic ulcers but it was the most disabling ADR with a DLD of 78. There were only few cases of acute renal failure (DLD 12) and Steven-Johnson Syndrome (DLD 13); still they scored a significant DLD as the outcome was more damaging when considering the duration and DW of the ADRs.

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