Evaluation of Ethical Analyses in Seven Reports from the European Network for Health Technology Assessment
Ekmekci, Perihan Elif
Güner, Müberra Devrim
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Objectives Ethics has been considered among the core domains of health technology assessment (HTA), but there are still disputes regarding ethical analysis. This study aimed to examine full final reports of the European Network for Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA) in terms of their compliance with the ethical methodology and ethical perspective of the HTA Core Model (R). Methods The study examines seven full final HTA reports of EUnetHTA written based on the methodology proposed in the HTA Core Model (R). The reports were analyzed using the following parameters: competency of the person/group who conducted ethical analysis, assessment elements, and the methodology of ethical analysis. Results The results show that, although the HTA Core Model (R) helped to standardize the final reports of the assessment, there are still concerns regarding the competency of the ethical analysis team, the perspectives on the purpose of ethical analysis, data sources and viewpoints of various stakeholders, use of ethical analysis methodology, and the evaluation of the ethical appropriateness of the entire HTA process. Conclusions The HTA Core Model (R) helped to standardize the final reports on the HTA; however, not all issues with the content and outcomes were solved. The lack of expertise in ethics and insufficiency of the teams regarding ethical analysis are other existing problems. This study also demonstrated that stakeholder viewpoints in general and patient perspectives, in particular, have been overlooked in the HTA process.