“Wise persons proportions their beliefs to the evidence” on the basis of David Hume
The FOPH and its Health Care Services division are dedicated to the implementation and maintenance of a proper HTA process, with the goal of providing best possible evidence to policy makers and thus bringing benefits of medical technologies to the Swiss population.
History of HTA in Switzerland
The Medical Technology Unit within the Swiss Federal Office of Social Security started gaining hands-on experience with HTA in the 1980s. Collaboration in EU-wide HTA projects has since brought fruitful exchange and led to Switzerland becoming a founding partner of EUnetHTA in 2009, culminating in the participation in EUnetHTA Joint Action 3. In parallel, Switzerland was a founding member of INAHTA as well as the Euroscan International Network.
Nowadays, HTA shapes the activities of many sections within the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).
In 2017, an HTA unit was installed to manage the production of HTA reports to support these activities, with an initial focus on the re-evaluation of technologies that are reimbursed by the Health Insurance Benefits Ordinance.
The Federal Law on Health Insurance requires that medical technologies are effective, appropriate, and cost-effective (EAE criteria). In the re-evaluation programme of the FOPH, HTA reports are produced for medical technologies that are considered controversial regarding the fulfillment of the EAE criteria.
For the evaluation of new(er) technologies that are not (yet) reimbursed, the same EAE criteria apply.
Swiss HTA Process Step-by-Step
- Topic selection: a public submission procedure invites stakeholders and individuals to submit topics for (re-)evaluation. All submitted topics are admitted to a selection procedure using prioritization criteria.
- External HTA agencies are commissioned to produce an HTA report for selected topics.
- Feedback on the HTA report drafts is provided by dedicated review groups as well as stakeholders.
- Final HTA reports are presented to the Federal Commissions for their appraisal.
- The Federal Department of Home Affairs, advised by the Federal Commissions, is the final decisive body regarding national coverage for re-evaluated technologies, with the exception of pharmaceuticals, where the decision is made by the FOPH.
Final HTA reports (together with their respective stakeholder consultation reports) and an overview of ongoing projects are publically accessible at www.bag.admin.ch/HTA.
- Increase the number of re-evaluation HTA reports.
- Produce customized reports, focussed on a predefined selection of HTA domains.
- Install a program for horizon scanning and early dialogues.
- Increased use of HTA methodology in the evaluation of new technologies.
Description of population served: National
Population served (mil): 8.5
Current HTA budget (mil USD): NR
Permanent staff: HTA, Medical Services and Pharmaceuticals 6-12 persons
Ongoing TA projects: 6+
Director of SFOPH: Anne Lévy
Director Division Health Insurance Benefits:Karin Schatzmann/Dr. Marc Schneider
Contact person: Dr. Stephanie Vollenweider
Swiss Federal Office of Public Health
Division of Health Care Services