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Hailey D.,University of Wollongong | Werko S.,Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment | Bakri R.,Ministry of Health Malaysia | Cameron A.,Australian Safety and Efficacy Register of New Interventional Procedures Surgical | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care | Year: 2013

Objectives: To obtain further information from members of the International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) on the involvement of consumers in their programs. Methods: A questionnaire for a survey was developed and sent to member agencies in November 2010. Survey responses were compared with those from an earlier survey conducted in 2005. Results: Of the thirty-three agencies that provided responses, 67 percent involve consumers in some aspects of their health technology assessment (HTA) programs, compared with 57 percent in 2005. As in the earlier survey, most agencies reporting involvement have contact with consumer or patient organizations and a large minority also involve individual consumers. Summaries of HTA reports that are intended to be easily understood by consumers are prepared by 84 percent of the agencies, and 42 percent involve consumers in dissemination of HTA material. In both areas, there was some increase from the levels previously reported. Conclusions: The survey results suggest that there is a trend to increased involvement of consumers by the INAHTA agencies in their programs but that the level of involvement remains relatively limited. The manner of consumer participation varies between agencies. © Cambridge University Press 2012.


Wibulpolprasert S.,Ministry of Public Health | Chokevivat V.,Government Pharmaceutical Organizations | Oh C.,Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program | Yamabhai I.,Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program
Globalization and Health | Year: 2011

This paper attempts to describe and analyse the policy processes that led to the granting and implementation of the government use licenses to enable the import and production of generic versions of medicines patented in Thailand. The decision to grant the series of government use licenses was taken despite much domestic and international controversy. The paper demonstrates that the policy processes leading to the granting of government use licenses are a successful application of the concept of "the triangle that moves the mountain". This is a well-known conceptualisation of a philosophical and strategic approach to public policy advocacy in Thailand, which propounds that the effective bridging of three powers; a.) Knowledge and evidence generated by research and analysis, b.) Civil society movements and public support, and c.) Leadership of policy makers and politicians; in a synergistic "triangle" can move "mountains", meaning the resolution of seemingly insurmountable problems. The paper provides insights into the policy context for the decision and analyses the roles of key actors, their motivations and the policy processes in the country. © 2011 Wibulpolprasert et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Cooper B.S.,Mahidol University | Cooper B.S.,University of Oxford | Kotirum S.,Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program | Kulpeng W.,Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program | And 10 more authors.
American Journal of Epidemiology | Year: 2015

Influenza epidemiology differs substantially in tropical and temperate zones, but estimates of seasonal influenza mortality in developing countries in the tropics are lacking.We aimed to quantify mortality due to seasonal influenza in Thailand, a tropical middle-income country. Time series of polymerase chain reaction-confirmed influenza infections between 2005 and 2009 were constructed from a sentinel surveillance network. These were combined with influenza-like illness data to derive measures of influenza activity and relationships to mortality by using a Bayesian regression framework. We estimated 6.1 (95% credible interval: 0.5, 12.4) annual deaths per 100,000 population attributable to influenza A and B, predominantly in those aged ≥60 years, with the largest contribution from influenza A(H1N1) in 3 out of 4 years. For A(H3N2), the relationship between influenza activity and mortality varied over time. Influenza was associated with increases in deaths classified as resulting from respiratory disease (posterior probability of positive association, 99.8%), cancer (98.6%), renal disease (98.0%), and liver disease (99.2%). No association with circulatory disease mortality was found. Seasonal influenza infections are associated with substantial mortality in Thailand, but evidence for the strong relationship between influenza activity and circulatory disease mortality reported in temperate countries is lacking.


Meeyai A.,Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program | Meeyai A.,Mahidol University | Praditsitthikorn N.,Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program | Praditsitthikorn N.,Ministry of Public Health | And 6 more authors.
PLoS Medicine | Year: 2015

Seasonal influenza is a major cause of mortality worldwide. Routine immunization of children has the potential to reduce this mortality through both direct and indirect protection, but has not been adopted by any low- or middle-income countries. We developed a framework to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of influenza vaccination policies in developing countries and used it to consider annual vaccination of school- and preschool-aged children with either trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) or trivalent live-attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) in Thailand. We also compared these approaches with a policy of expanding TIV coverage in the elderly. We developed an age-structured model to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of eight vaccination policies parameterized using country-level data from Thailand. For policies using LAIV, we considered five different age groups of children to vaccinate. We adopted a Bayesian evidence-synthesis framework, expressing uncertainty in parameters through probability distributions derived by fitting the model to prospectively collected laboratory-confirmed influenza data from 2005-2009, by meta-analysis of clinical trial data, and by using prior probability distributions derived from literature review and elicitation of expert opinion. We performed sensitivity analyses using alternative assumptions about prior immunity, contact patterns between age groups, the proportion of infections that are symptomatic, cost per unit vaccine, and vaccine effectiveness. Vaccination of children with LAIV was found to be highly cost-effective, with incremental cost-effectiveness ratios between about 2,000 and 5,000 international dollars per disability-adjusted life year averted, and was consistently preferred to TIV-based policies. These findings were robust to extensive sensitivity analyses. The optimal age group to vaccinate with LAIV, however, was sensitive both to the willingness to pay for health benefits and to assumptions about contact patterns between age groups. Vaccinating school-aged children with LAIV is likely to be cost-effective in Thailand in the short term, though the long-term consequences of such a policy cannot be reliably predicted given current knowledge of influenza epidemiology and immunology. Our work provides a coherent framework that can be used for similar analyses in other low- and middle-income countries. © 2015 Meeyai et al.


Santatiwongchai B.,Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program | Chantarastapornchit V.,Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program | Wilkinson T.,National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) | Thiboonboon K.,Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Information generated from economic evaluation is increasingly being used to inform health resource allocation decisions globally, including in low- and middle- income countries. However, a crucial consideration for users of the information at a policy level, e.g. funding agencies, is whether the studies are comparable, provide sufficient detail to inform policy decision making, and incorporate inputs from data sources that are reliable and relevant to the context. This review was conducted to inform a methodological standardisation workstream at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and assesses BMGF-funded cost-per-DALY economic evaluations in four programme areas (malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and vaccines) in terms of variation in methodology, use of evidence, and quality of reporting. The findings suggest that there is room for improvement in the three areas of assessment, and support the case for the introduction of a standardised methodology or reference case by the BMGF. The findings are also instructive for all institutions that fund economic evaluations in LMICs and who have a desire to improve the ability of economic evaluations to inform resource allocation decisions. © 2015 Santatiwongchai et al.


Songtish D.,Srinakharinwirot University | Praditsitthikorn N.,Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program | Praditsitthikorn N.,Ministry of Public Health | Teerawattananon Y.,Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program
Value in Health Regional Issues | Year: 2014

Objectives: In Thailand, axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) is the dominant form of treatment for breast cancer, even though the treatment often leaves patients with some degree of arm morbidity. Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SNB) is widely accepted globally as a preferable alternative procedure because of its lower rates of associated morbidity. This study compared the cost-utility of SNB and ALND in patients with early stage breast cancer in Thailand. Methods: A decision tree with a 5-year time horizon was developed. Outcomes that were relevant to SNB and ALND were included, along with locoregional recurrence of cancer and lymphedema scenarios. The model parameters were derived from a meta-analysis of international clinical trials and other relevant literature. The resources and cost data were derived from the medical records of tertiary hospitals. Health utilities were measured by using the standard gamble technique. A sensitivity analysis was performed using a set of plausible parameters. Results: The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) in the base-case analysis showed that SNB was more cost-effective than ALND. ICERs were -275,140 and -470,600 Thailand baht/quality-adjusted life-year gained from the provider perspective and the societal perspective, respectively. The most sensitive parameter was the utility score of patients with early stage breast cancer who had received breast-conserving therapy with lymphedema; the sensitivity and specificity of SNB had no impact on the ICER. Conclusions: The study confirmed that SNB was an economically viable alternative treatment to ALND. In developing countries, where resources are limited, nationwide implementation of SNB warrants widespread support from relevant stakeholders, including medical personnel and policymakers. © 2014 International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR).


PubMed | Mahidol University, Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program, Ministry of Public Health, University of Oxford and International Health Policy Program
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PLoS medicine | Year: 2015

Seasonal influenza is a major cause of mortality worldwide. Routine immunization of children has the potential to reduce this mortality through both direct and indirect protection, but has not been adopted by any low- or middle-income countries. We developed a framework to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of influenza vaccination policies in developing countries and used it to consider annual vaccination of school- and preschool-aged children with either trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) or trivalent live-attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) in Thailand. We also compared these approaches with a policy of expanding TIV coverage in the elderly.We developed an age-structured model to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of eight vaccination policies parameterized using country-level data from Thailand. For policies using LAIV, we considered five different age groups of children to vaccinate. We adopted a Bayesian evidence-synthesis framework, expressing uncertainty in parameters through probability distributions derived by fitting the model to prospectively collected laboratory-confirmed influenza data from 2005-2009, by meta-analysis of clinical trial data, and by using prior probability distributions derived from literature review and elicitation of expert opinion. We performed sensitivity analyses using alternative assumptions about prior immunity, contact patterns between age groups, the proportion of infections that are symptomatic, cost per unit vaccine, and vaccine effectiveness. Vaccination of children with LAIV was found to be highly cost-effective, with incremental cost-effectiveness ratios between about 2,000 and 5,000 international dollars per disability-adjusted life year averted, and was consistently preferred to TIV-based policies. These findings were robust to extensive sensitivity analyses. The optimal age group to vaccinate with LAIV, however, was sensitive both to the willingness to pay for health benefits and to assumptions about contact patterns between age groups.Vaccinating school-aged children with LAIV is likely to be cost-effective in Thailand in the short term, though the long-term consequences of such a policy cannot be reliably predicted given current knowledge of influenza epidemiology and immunology. Our work provides a coherent framework that can be used for similar analyses in other low- and middle-income countries.


PubMed | Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program
Type: | Journal: Globalization and health | Year: 2011

This paper attempts to describe and analyse the policy processes that led to the granting and implementation of the government use licenses to enable the import and production of generic versions of medicines patented in Thailand. The decision to grant the series of government use licenses was taken despite much domestic and international controversy. The paper demonstrates that the policy processes leading to the granting of government use licenses are a successful application of the concept of the triangle that moves the mountain. This is a well-known conceptualisation of a philosophical and strategic approach to public policy advocacy in Thailand, which propounds that the effective bridging of three powers; a.) Knowledge and evidence generated by research and analysis, b.) Civil society movements and public support, and c.) Leadership of policy makers and politicians; in a synergistic triangle can move mountains, meaning the resolution of seemingly insurmountable problems. The paper provides insights into the policy context for the decision and analyses the roles of key actors, their motivations and the policy processes in the country.


PubMed | Red Cross, Mahidol University, Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program, Ministry of Public Health and Benjalak Hospital
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Asia-Pacific journal of public health | Year: 2015

The current program for prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission in Thailand recommends a 2-drugs regimen for HIV-infected pregnant women with a CD4 count >200 cells/mm(3). This study assesses the value for money of 3 antiretroviral drugs compared with zidovudine (AZT)+single-dose nevirapine (sd-NVP). A decision tree was constructed to predict costs and outcomes using the governmental perspective for assessing cost-effectiveness of 3-drug regimens: (1) AZT, lamivudine, and efavirenz and (2) AZT, 3TC, and lopinavir/ritonavir, in comparison with the current protocol, AZT+sd-NVP. The 3-drug antiretroviral regimens yield lower costs and better health outcomes compared with AZT+sd-NVP. Although these 3-drug regimens offer higher program costs and health care costs for premature birth, they save money significantly in regard to pediatric HIV treatment and treatment costs for drug resistance in mothers. The 3-drug regimens are cost-saving interventions. The findings from this study were used to support a policy change in the national recommendation.

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