MTaI welcomes government’s move to establish MedTech Assessment Board

The MTAB (Medical Technology Assessment Board) is expected to optimize clinical effectiveness, cost effectiveness, and safety, social, ethical, and legal applications of healthcare interventions

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New Delhi: The Medical Technology Association of India (MTaI) on July 27, 2017, welcomed the government’s well-considered move in establishing MTAB (Medical Technology Assessment Board) to optimize clinical effectiveness, cost effectiveness, and safety, social, ethical, and legal applications of healthcare interventions.

The statement from MTaI came immediately after the first Stakeholder Consultative meeting in this regard called by the Department of Health Research (DHR) was over yesterday evening. The consultations were broad-based and wide-ranging, bringing in not only the perspectives of the provider but also of medical technology representatives, health representatives from WHO, representatives from Food and Drug Administration, and Programme Officers.

The statement from MTaI further mentioned that the project definition is not only limited to products (Intraocular lenses this time) but to the entire pre-, peri- and post- operative procedures and processes. This kind of an approach has a much greater likelihood of truly improving access, and has been successfully applied in Europe, Scandinavia, Asia and Australasia.

A product-based approach is often very limiting and ends up increasing other costs eventually, leaving no gains for the patients, it said.

“Thailand, United Kingdom, Indonesia and Philippines have done some pioneering work in this area and the government is actively engaging with them to learn from their experiences. We welcome and support this move of the government,” concluded the statement.

A look at the broader objectives of Medical Technology Assessment Board:

The proposed MTAB in the Department of Health Research would recommend technologies (drugs, devices, method of treatment, etc.) in the area of health after evaluating them on their efficacy, appropriateness and cost effectiveness. This would serve as an important tool in prioritizing national health spending and help achieve universal health coverage by providing affordable health care. Accordingly, MTAB would facilitate:

(i) the process of decision-making in health care at the Central and State policy level by providing reliable information based on scientific evidence;

(ii) develop systems and mechanisms to assess new and existing health technologies by transparent and inclusive processes;

(iii) appraise health interventions and technologies based on available data on resource use, cost, clinical effectiveness, and safety;

(iv) collect and analyze evidence in a systematic and reproducible way and ensure its accessibility and usefulness to inform health policy; and

(v) disseminate research findings and resulting policy decisions to educate and empower the public to make better-informed decisions for health.