Consumer Participation in the Review of Health Technology Assessment in Australia


This project aimed to provide consumer input to the Review of Health Technology Assessment (HTA) in Australia. Consumers recognise the importance of having HTA processes that expedite Australians’ access to safe, high quality health technology; are economically sustainable; and protect the Australian public through robust event reporting and post-marketing surveillance.

The scope of the HTA Review is as follows:

  • Regulation of therapeutic goods for market entry, currently undertaken by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
  • Approval of funding under the Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS), currently informed by the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) and relevant implementation consultative committees
  • Listing of prostheses for private health insurance coverage, as currently informed by the Prostheses and Devices Committee (PDC)
  • Listing of hybrid and co-dependent technologies as currently informed by the MSAC, Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) and PDC.

Capturing the consumer perspective on HTA is an important part of the Review process, and CHF’s project aimed to ensure that the consumer voice is heard.

Project objectives:

  • Broad consultation through an information paper and focused teleconference with senior consumer representatives who are familiar with health technology assessment in Australia and/or internationally to identify issues for consumers in relation to HTA. Issues to be considered include:
    • Consumer representatives on health technology assessment committees;
    • Consumers as users and subsidisers of health technologies;
    • Different models of post-market surveillance;
    • Different options for consumer education;
    • How the outcomes of the HTA Review can best be fed back to consumers;
    • Consumer needs versus wants; and
    • How HTA processes can work more effectively.
  • Facilitated national workshop with 25 consumer representatives to consider the issues identified in earlier consultations and explore future policy options, and production of a report summarising workshop discussion points and outcomes.


The Consumer Participation in the Review of Health Technology Assessment in Australia 2009 project was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

Internet Links

Department of Health and Ageing: Health Technology Assessment Review

The project concluded in December 2009.