The National center for health technology assessment (HTA), established on March 2, 2016 with a decree of the Ministry of Health, as part of the approval of the organization and functioning regulation of the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS), began its activity in January 2017.
The mission of the Center is to improve the quality, standards and value for money by integrating the principles and methodologies of HTA into the planning of health services and clinical practice at all levels. [Decree 02/03/2016 - "Approval of the organization and regulation of the Italian National Institute of Health" - Published in the Official Journal of the Italian Republic n. 88 of 15/04/2016].
The activities of the National center for HTA foresees an integration into the nascent Italian HTA system. In line with the institutional mission of the ISS, the HTA Center is structuring its activity by focusing on research, control, consultancy, regulation and training activities.
The Centre's program of activities provides that the technology assessment is carried out in all phases of the technology life cycle as well as in connection with the National Guidelines System (SNLG), envisaged by law 24/2017 and managed by the ISS through the activities of the National center for clinical excellence, health quality and safety.
The health technologies being evaluated are those included in the broader definition of HTA of the International Network of Agencies (INAHTA) which includes the drugs, devices, medical and surgical procedures used in health care, as well as measures for prevention and for the rehabilitation of diseases, and the organizational and support systems in which healthcare is provided.
The Center has the objective of supporting the decision-making process by producing information on the clinical, economic, organizational, social, legal and ethical effects of health technologies inserted in specific health contexts.
The Centre's development strategy will mainly focus on:
- create evidence of new technologies and those already in use in clinical practice in order to contribute to the evaluation of their real value
- synthesize and evaluate evidence to produce HTA documents
- encourage the increase in the use of HTA documents in planning and programming activities of the National Health Service (SSN) at national, regional and local level, as well as in clinical practice