Health Technology Assessment

The Health Technology Assessment (HTA) team's role is to undertake economic evaluation of new health technologies. This includes assessment of submissions requesting listing of pharmaceuticals on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and as well as development of protocols and assessment of applications for medical services on the Medicare Benefits Schedule. In addition, the HTA group is involved in researching the policy framework and processes under which public subsidies of new technologies may occur.

Health technology is any service used to promote health or to prevent or diagnose disease and can include: pharmaceuticals; medical or surgical procedures; prostheses; devices; diagnostic tests; and preventative programs. Although innovations in health technologies have resulted in improvements in both the quality and length of life, they come at a cost, and are seen by many as the main drivers of ever increasing health care costs. Health services providers, whether government or private, are faced with the challenge of delivering better health outcomes subject to available health care budgets. Health technology assessment aims to provide the necessary information to decision-makers about the costs, benefits and comparative value of health technologies. Through HTA, new health technologies can be evaluated against existing technologies and assessed for their cost-effectiveness.

Health Technology Assessment of Medical Services

Assessment of a medical service can include developing protocols to guide submissions or assessments, critiques of submissions provided by the applicants and assessment reports on medical services. Although much health technology assessment of medical services is confidential during the evaluation phase, usually, after a decision has been reached by the Minister of Health on whether to subsidise the medical service or not, the reports are released publically and are available at

Stream coordinator: Sandra Younie

Examples of the different outputs completed are outlined below:


1197.1 – Remote Monitoring of Patients with Implanted Cardiac Devices: Final protocol

Critique of a submission

L Bulfone, Murphy B,.  (2012)  Diagnostic Use of Thyrotropin alfa-rch for Patients with Well-Differentiated Thyroid Cancer.  MSAC application 1156, Critique of Application. Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, ACT.

Assessment Report

Murphy B, Whyte P.  (2012) Pathology Tests for Latent Mycobacterial Infection.  MSAC application 1144, Assessment Report.  Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, ACT. 

Younie S, Murphy B.  (2012)  Measurement and Determination of Procalcitonin (PCT).  MSAC application 1139, Assessment Report.  Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, ACT.

Health Technology Assessment of Pharmaceuticals

Economic assessment and/or cost effectiveness of new medicines forms the majority of the research work undertaken, this is prepared confidentially and delivered as reports to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

Stream Coordinator: Patti Whyte

Page custodian: Deakin Research
Last updated: