Issues facing the Australian health technology assessment review of medical technology funding

Susanne P. O'Malley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


• The Australian Health Technology Assessment Review has the potential to have a major effect on the availability of new medical technology and the listing of associated medical procedures on the Medicare Benefits Schedule. Despite this, only about 15% of submissions to the Review came from "medical associations". • Pharmaceutical and medical technologies are inherently different, and there are a number of difficulties associated with evaluating medical technology using the same process and evidence levels as those used for pharmaceuticals. • The current sequential and lengthy processing of new medical technology and procedures is delaying access to beneficial medical technology and could be substantially reduced. • There is currently no effective funding process for medical technology classified as capital equipment or consumables and disposables. This has created a perverse incentive in favour of using funded implantable prostheses based on access to funding rather than superior clinical effectiveness. • The existing horizon scanning process could be better used to not only identify all potentially cost-effective new and emerging medical technology and procedures as early as possible, but also to identify gaps in the evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-33
Number of pages4
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


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