Ekmekci 2019

Appraisal of: Evaluation of ethical analyses in seven reports from the European Network for Health Technology Assessment 

Reviewer(s): Amanda Hodgson

Full Reference: Ekmekci PE, Güner MD. Evaluation of Ethical Analyses in Seven Reports from the European Network for Health Technology Assessment. Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2019;35(4):273-279.

Short description: The aim of this study was to examine a set of EUnetHTA reports including ethical components and analyze compliance with the HTA Core Model, mainly in relation to ethical analysis methodology and expertise of teams. The authors studied the assessment elements of each report and remark upon the adherence of the included reports to the standardization outlined by the HTA Core Model. Criticism of the included reports with respect to data sources and literature review methods for the ethical analysis sections highlight a disconnect between the perspective of methodologies chosen and explanations of methods employed in the reports. For example, most of the included reports utilized a literature review however the search strategies and approaches were not appropriately recorded. Expertise of the teams was also critiqued, and a lack of appropriate qualifications noted. The authors commend the initiation of the HTA Core Model with respect to ethical analysis and call for broader discussion and research on advancement of this model and perspectives on ethics in HTA more generally.

Limitations stated by the author(s): The authors state the main limitation of the study is the small number of HTA reports analyzed. In addition, they state that 2 of the 7 reports analyzed were achieved prior to initiation of the HTA Core Model, which could obscure the analysis.

Limitations stated by the reviewer(s): The analysis is restricted to EUnetHTA reports only, which would hinder any broad conclusions about current practice and expertise employed for ethical analysis in HTA.

Study Type: Evaluation study

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