Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
KRAUSS-SILVA, Letícia. Technology assessment in health care: methodological and operational questions. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2004, vol.20, suppl.2, pp. S199-S207. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2004000800015.
Coverage policies, elaboration of clinical guidelines, and health services evaluation and management are increasingly dependent on formal technology assessments in developed countries. The objective of this study was to identify methodological and operational barriers, as well as strategies to enhance technology assessment activities, with a focus on Brazil. Methodological limitations to the elaboration of systematic reviews and economic evaluations were reviewed, including equity considerations, as well as attempts to overcome those problems; regulatory efforts in developed countries are acknowledged as a lever for methodological advances in the field. Operational barriers to the elaboration and utilization of technology assessment reports in Brazil are related to the adequacy and availability of relevant data as well as to the scarcity of trained researchers and decision-makers. Besides political barriers, constraints to the implementation of technology assessment recommendations are generally posed by methodological and transferability limitations, by communication deficits, and by factors related to the decision-making context external to the assessment itself, like availability of resources, budget flexibility, and transactional costs.
Keywords : Health Services; Biomedical Technology Assessment; Cost-Benefit Analysis.