Begin main content
CADTH Document Viewer

Common Acronyms for All Who Are New to CADTH

January 2019

To make it faster and easier for interested individuals to understand CADTH recommendations, reports, and CADTH Symposium presentations, we’d like to equip you with the meanings of these common acronyms. Welcome to the language of HTA and CADTH.


What It Stands For



adverse event

An unwanted and usually harmful occurrence following treatment


budget impact analysis

Used to estimate the impact of adding a drug, device, or procedure to a public formulary or budget, based on cost and the number of people likely to receive treatment within a specific period of time


best supportive care

When the aim is to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life, rather than cure the disease


Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health

An independent, not-for-profit organization responsible for providing Canada’s health care decision-makers with objective evidence to help make informed decisions about the optimal use of drugs and medical devices in our health care system


CADTH Canadian Drug Expert Committee

The expert committee of the CADTH Common Drug Review program that makes drug reimbursement recommendations


CADTH Common Drug Review

Reviews drugs and makes reimbursement recommendations to Canada's public drug plans


confidence interval

The range around a result within which we would expect (with 90%, 95%, or 99% confidence) the true value to lie; the true value, however, may still lie outside this range


conflict of interest

When judgment about one activity may be influenced, or be seen to be influenced, by competing interests or activity; COI may be intellectual, financial, or personal


companion diagnostic

Biomarker test used to identify if a select drug is likely to provide benefit for a particular patient before treatment begins


cost-effectiveness analysis

Used in economic evaluations to compare treatments that differs in the magnitude of their outcomes; outcomes are expressed in natural terms such as life-years gained or adverse events avoided


CADTH pCODR Clinical Guidance Panel

Responsible for interpreting the clinical data and developing conclusions for the Clinical Guidance Report as part the CADTH pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR); panels and members vary depending upon the type of cancer the drug reviewed treats


cost-minimization analysis

Used in economic evaluations to compare treatments that have similar clinical outcomes


cost-utility analysis

Used in economic evaluations to compare treatments when the outcomes are different; outcomes are expressed in quality-adjusted life-years to allow comparison between health technologies


CADTH Drug Policy Advisory Committee

Representatives from public drug plans meet to provide strategic advice to CADTH on drug policy issues


CADTH pCODR Economic Guidance Panel

Responsible for assessing the economic evidence in the pCODR program


EuroQol 5-Dimensions questionnaire

Used to measure health-related quality of life determined by an individual’s level of functioning on five aspects of health: mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort, and anxiety/depression



CADTH receives funding from Canada’s federal, provincial, and territorial governments, with the exception of Quebec


Health Canada

The federal department responsible for helping the people of Canada maintain and improve their health


health-related quality of life

Aspects of quality of life that are affected by illness and its treatment, including physical, psychological, and social functioning


health technology assessment

Systematically evaluates the direct and intended effects of a health technology, as well as its indirect and unintended consequences; generally done to help others make a decision on a technology’s use or purchase


Health Technology
Assessment international

A scientific and professional society for all those who produce, use, or encounter HTA (including patients and citizens)


CADTH Health Technology Expert Review Panel

Develops guidance on medical devices and diagnostic tests for Canadian health care decision-makers


health technology management

Management of drug and non-drug health technologies from pre-market development, to adoption and use, to obsolescence


incremental cost-effectiveness ratio

The result of a cost-effective analysis; the ratio is of the difference between the costs (in dollars) of two treatments and the difference in the outcomes


incremental cost-utility ratio

Similar to ICER; costs are measured in dollars and benefits are measured in quality-adjusted life-years


International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment

A global network of public HTA agencies that promotes and supports cooperation, information sharing, and capacity building in HTA


Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux

Provides Quebec’s health care decision-makers with objective evidence on the adoption, use, and public-plan coverage of technologies, medications, and interventions; and develops guides to clinical practice for their optimal use


CADTH Knowledge Mobilization and Liaison Officer team

Provides support to understand decision-makers’ evidence needs, and provides tools and advice to turn evidence into action



Estimate of the years of life the average person lives as a result of a health technology


minimal clinically important difference

Used to describe the smallest change in a treatment outcome that patients would identify as important and which might lead to a change in treatment


Notice of Compliance

Authorization given by Health Canada when regulatory requirements are met, allowing a pharmaceutical company to market a drug in Canada


CADTH pCODR Advisory Committee

Provides strategic advice on cancer-specific issues to CADTH to ensure the pCODR program meets the needs of the provincial and territorial governments, and cancer agencies


CADTH pCODR Provincial Advisory Group

Representatives from public drug plans and provincial cancer agencies provide operational advice to ensure that the pCODR process and recommendations meet the evidence needs of decision-makers to guide funding decisions


CADTH pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review

Reviews cancer drugs and makes reimbursement recommendations to Canada's public drug plans and provincial cancer agencies


pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance

Negotiates with pharmaceutical companies to achieve greater value on drugs for publicly funded drug plans


CADTH pCODR Expert Review Committee

The expert committee of the CADTH pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review


point of care

Point-of-care testing happens at or near where a patient is located rather than sending test samples to a medical laboratory


Patented Medicine Prices Review Board

Ensures the prices of patented medicines sold in Canada are not excessive compared to prices in other similar countries


patient-reported outcome

Information gathered directly from patients about how they feel or function


quality-adjusted life-year

Estimate of duration and quality of survival for an individual over an assumed time period


randomized controlled trial

A study design that randomly assigns participants into different treatment groups


Request for Advice

A formal process that enables drug plans to seek advice about a previous CDEC or pERC recommendation


Regional Health Authority

How Canadian provincial governments administer and deliver public health care to residents; these may also be known as Health Authorities, or collectively as a Health Network or Local Health Integration Network (LHIN)


CADTH Rapid Response

A CADTH report that provides health care decision-makers with up-to-date evidence tailored to meet specific needs


CADTH Scientific Advice

A program that offers pharmaceutical companies advice on their early drug development plans from an HTA perspective


subsequent entry biologic

A new version of a biologic drug sold after the patent for the biologic drug has expired; also referred to as a biosimilar


Short Form Health Survey 36-item questionnaire

A Medical Outcomes Study questionnaire of overall health status that assesses functional status, well-being, and quality of life


withdrawal due to adverse event

Any adverse event that results in the patient stopping taking the drug during a clinical trial

More Resources

HTAi consumer and patient glossary: a guide to words used in HTA available from the HTAi Interest Group on Patient and Citizen Involvement

International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment Glossary, a collaborative effort between the International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA), Health Technology Assessment international (HTAi), and other partner organizations