Course in Health Technology Assessment: Choosing Which Treatments Get Funded


Programme Description

Course in Health Technology Assessment: Choosing Which Treatments Get Funded


This course will help you understand how and why drugs and treatments are funded and discover how healthcare organizations make decisions about whether we should have access to certain treatments.

You will focus on a key part of the information used to make these decisions - Health Technology Assessment (HTA).

What topics will you cover?

In this course we looked at:

  • What health technology assessment is and how it is applied by healthcare decision-makers to inform the choices they make about which drugs and treatments should be made available to patients- this means looking at both the benefits or effects of the treatment, and its costs.
  • The kinds of evidence that can help us to decide whether a treatment is of benefit, and how much of a benefit it gives.
  • The range of evidence types, with a focus on clinical trials, what they can offer, their limitations and why they are particularly important for HTA.
  • The methods used to bring the existing research and evidence about a treatment together, so we can get a clear picture of what benefits the treatment offers. To do this, we looked at a technique called ‘sytematic reviewing’ which combines the evidence into a single report and uses statistical techniques to bring the data from a number of studies together to create a single estimate of the effects of a treatment.
  • The ways in which the costs of drugs and the economic impacts can be compared with those of existing treatments. To do this we looked at how a specific research technique, economic modelling, is used. We looked at the different kinds of model, their value in HTA and how they are combined with the evidence from our systematic review of the clinical effectiveness of a treatment to produce estimates of costs/benefit. We also looked at the final HTA report, to give a direct insight into the information that decision-makers are presented with. We looked at how decision makers use the HTA report, in conjunction with a wider range of information and input, to make a final decision.
  • We finished by briefly looking at how a decision to make a treatment available (or not) impacts on other health services.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Explore the assessment process for a new health technology and how this applies to a potential decision outcome.
  • Explain the process of decisions about which healthcare treatments are funded by a patient or member of the public.
  • Investigate a health technology assessment (HTA) and understand the evidence presented.
  • Contribute to an informed discussion about whether or not a new health technology is adopted and funded by the NHS, or another national healthcare system.

Who is the course for?

This course will help you understand how and why choices about drugs and treatments have been made. It may inspire you to think about a career in healthcare, local decision-making or academia.

Continuing Professional Development

If you are currently working in healthcare, pharmaceuticals or medical research then this course could be a valuable addition to your continuing professional development and will help you to better understand decision making and economics in your field of practice.

You can prove your CPD by upgrading the course and earn a certificate that details the hours you spent learning, what the course covered and the course start date.

Take your understanding further: Learn about Measuring and Valuing Health

The HTA process depends on many sources of information coming together to provide an assessment. Take your knowledge of healthcare decision-making further and learn about health outcomes with our previous course Measuring and Valuing Health.

This course looks more closely into one of the factors which help to inform healthcare decisions. Costs are fairly straightforward to calculate but what about the benefits? How do we measure and value these benefits?

You’ll learn about how patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are developed and implemented. You’ll also learn what quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) are and how they are generated including describing health states and how they can be valued through methods such as Time Trade-Off. Sign up here.

Study with the University of Sheffield

You may even wish to take your learning further, with the University of Sheffield’s Master's degrees and short courses in areas such as health economics, public health, and international healthcare technology assessment.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated February 17, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Online
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Open Enrolment
Part time
United Kingdom - UK Online
Start date : Open Enrolment
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Open Enrolment
United Kingdom - UK Online
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info