Government assessments – making the best decisions

HTAnaysts are part of the Department of Health, Health Technology Assessment Panel

The challenge

The Department of Health asked HTAnalysts to undertake an evaluation of a new genetic screening tool that claimed to identify genetic variants in a pre-defined patient population. HTAnalysts worked closely with a research institute to understand the technology and current practice enabling a comprehensive assessment of the evidence.

Initial result

Interestingly the evidence showed the new technology had a superior diagnostic yield compared to standard of care.

What happened next?

Next, HTAnalysts developed a de novo economic evaluation for MSAC that leveraged previous trial based economic evaluations. For genetic screening technologies, it is important to consider implications beyond the patient and therefore the model was constructed to cover the proband population and first-degree relatives

Using  this method meant an exploration of uncertainties intrinsic to the study of cost effectiveness across multiple populations could be conducted. As the technology altered clinical management and provided patient and family-relevant benefits the results were reported step-wide to consider direct benefits, such as health gains and diagnostic certainty for patients, followed by indirect benefits, like reproductive gains for relatives.

Completing the picture

Given the uncertainty related to the screening tool’s benefits, multiple univariate and multivariate sensitivity analyses were conducted to present the MSAC with a complete picture of potential scenarios when key assumptions were varied across plausible ranges.