To review drug policies, health technology assessment (HTA), and HTA’s use in drug policies in China, to further improve the quality and efficiency of drugs.
This study draws on multiple methods. A systematic review of the literature, review of Chinese government documents and statistical handbooks, and authors’ experiences in drug policies and HTA in China were combined to achieve the objective.
Of 571 studies identified in the initial search, 14 eligible articles (6 English, 8 Chinese) were finally included. On the Web site of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, we found that HTA or pharmacoeconomics evaluation is mentioned in recent years and its frequency has been increasing; however, there was not one hit about HTA or PE on the Web site of China Food and Drug Administration.
The decision makers have realized the importance and value of HTA and have tried to integrate HTA into drug policies and regulations. However, the application of HTA findings to drug policymaking is not yet widespread and there are a number of challenges in using HTA in China. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a national HTA commission and develop pharmacoeconomics guidelines to support the use of HTA in decision making. Moreover, the most important steps are to encourage technology innovation, groom more HTA experts, and build reliable databases in China.
Xuemei Zhen Xueshan Sun Hengjin Dong