The use of value-based approaches to the issues in health care, especially to reimbursement or pricing has been well established across western countries and over the last decade Asian countries have been seeking their own solutions. Asian health care systems are very diverse, representing cultures, political systems and economies from more than 30 countries with varying histories. Despite the diversity in the region, there has been enormous growth in health economics and outcomes research driven by the desire to establish universal healthcare insurance coverage, the need for rational allocation of scarce resources, and a desire for government to provide leadership in HTA. This has been supported by the availability of HTA professionals and faculties through international networks and underpins the partnership between HTAi and the WHO.
All countries experience their own health system challenges, from implementing new technologies, addressing inequity to being pre-emptive in meeting the challenge of a rapid shift in demographics like age. These have the potential to threaten the sustainability of current health insurance systems, requiring greater deliberation on the issues of a value-based approach to policy decision-making and implementation. There is a need for informed discussion by a wide range of stakeholders on the use of advanced and expensive medical technologies such as personalized medicine, molecular targeted drug therapy, cancer treatment, regenerative medicine, heavy particle radiotherapy (and the facility) to name a few.
The Annual Meeting in Tokyo will provide an opportunity to consider:
· The role of HTA in universal health coverage
· The rationale for subjective / political adjustment in decisions
· The dilemma of cost-saving versus investing for innovation
· Scientific evidence versus pragmatic decision making
· Dealing with a lack of epidemiological data including cost
· The utilization of information technology in HTA
· The role of patient participation in decision making
· Cultural differences (e.g., utility measurement, expectations to the government, societal consensus).
· Country-specific HTA
· International data sharing and evidence transferability