Technology Assessment Review

The HTA Programme manages the NIHR Technology Assessment Reviews (TARs) programme, which has nine research teams contracted to respond to the urgent needs of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and other policy makers.

NICE’s role is to improve the outcomes for people using the NHS and other public health and social care services. One of the ways it does this is by producing evidence based guidance. NICE guidance contains systematically-developed recommendations based on the best evidence. The TAR research teams provide NICE with the independent research it needs to inform three of their guidance committees.

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TA guidance assesses the clinical and cost effectiveness of new and existing medicines and treatments within the NHS. There are two types of TA reports for technology appraisals:

  • Single Technology Assessment Reports (STAs) refer to a single technology in a single indication. STAs assess the strength and quality of the research evidence submitted by manufacturers to NICE. Assessment is rapid, with reports produced within eight weeks.
  • Multiple Technology Assessment Reports (MTAs) normally cover more than one technology, or one technology for more than one indication. MTAs assess and synthesise the research evidence (including data submissions), providing estimates of the relative effectiveness and cost effectiveness of a range of intervention options. MTAs are large research reviews which are delivered within 26-28 weeks.

NICE highly specialised technologies (HST) guidance

HST evaluations are recommendations on the use of drugs for very rare conditions. An HST report covers a single technology for a single indication. Similar to STA reports, HST reports assess the strength and quality of the research evidence submitted by manufacturers to NICE and are produced within eight weeks.

NICE diagnostics (DA) guidance

DA guidance focuses on the evaluation of innovative medical diagnostic technologies for the NHS. Diagnostics includes all types of measurements and tests used to assess a patient’s condition. DA reports assess clinical outcomes and synthesise the research evidence for single or multiple diagnostic technologies in a given pathway.Typically, a DA report provides estimates of the relative effectiveness and cost effectiveness of the diagnostic options. DA reports can be large reviews and are delivered within 24 weeks.

Working with other policy makers

TAR reviews are regularly commissioned to provide evidence for other policy customers. The TAR teams can respond quickly to requests, providing an important resource for policy makers. Find out more about the TAR teams. HTA AR reports are independent, reliable and rigorous evidence assessments; they usually comprise a systematic review, cost-effectiveness and economic modelling.

HTA-TARS have recently been commissioned for:

  • Chief Medical Officer
  • National Screening Committee
  • NHS England

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We offer a wide variety of assistance during all stages of the research process. If in doubt, please contact the TAR team.