Major decisions affecting the health of Canadians require a solid foundation of evidence. Health Technology Assessments (HTAs) are evaluations of clinical effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and the ethical, legal, and social implications of health technologies on patient health and the health care system.
HTAs can involve assessments of new technologies or reassessments of existing technologies. They provide extensive information and conclusions but do not include recommendations from a CADTH expert committee. Health technologies include prescription drugs, diagnostic tests, and surgical/medical/dental devices and procedures — but not broad health system issues, such as information technology, program delivery, staffing, and finance.
Topics of Pan-Canadian Interest
HTAs support evidence-informed decision-making about health policy and purchasing, service management, and clinical practice. Because of the rigour applied to HTAs, they are normally reserved for topics of pan-Canadian interest. HTAs have been conducted on topics such as interventions to reduce the spread of respiratory viruses, bariatric surgery, and robot-assisted surgery.
Considering the Evidence
The work is carried out by a multidisciplinary team of researchers whose composition is appropriate to the nature of the project. Before being released, HTAs are peer-reviewed by external clinical, economic, and methodological experts, and internal CADTH staff. The findings are summarized in reports that translate the scientific and economic data into information relevant to decision-making.
Once finalized, CADTH HTAs are posted on cadth.ca, where they are freely available to anyone. To find out if there is an HTA for a particular topic of interest to you, simply use our search engine or contact the CADTH Liaison Officer nearest you.