Why are some treatments made available to patients while others are not?
Explore how Health Technology Assessment (HTA) informs decisions about whether we should have access to certain treatments. This course is based on the University of Sheffield’s online distance-learning programme, the MSc International Health Technology Assessment.
You can continue to learn about healthcare decision-making in our other online course Measuring and Valuing Health.
You may work in the medical or pharmaceutical profession or study a subject such as medicine, nursing, healthcare or health economics.
Or perhaps you’re a patient or an interested member of the public who wants to know the story behind the headlines. This course will help you to make an informed contribution to discussions about NHS decisions.
You should have an interest in healthcare decision making and, in particular, the economic aspects that this involves. No particular mathematical skills or previous economics experience are required, though a basic familiarity with healthcare research could be helpful. The course is accessible to anyone with a secondary or high school-level education.
You can find out more about some of the themes covered in this course in Claire Beecroft’s post for the FutureLearn blog: “Penny pinchers or NICE people? Why someone’s got to choose which treatments get funded.”
Very helpful resource! I gained an overall view on what health technology assessment is; the different stages of the process; the expertise required from different fields; the key issues in dealing with the complexity of allocating resources in the NHS. What a wonderful system the UK has implemented. It would be nice to understand better how other countries do it and how much we globally could benefit from more international cooperation on this challenging decision process. Thank you to the staff at University of Sheffield for this free course!
This is a great course and will explain the basics of Health Technology Assessment. Its weakness is that the tutors fail to adequately explore the ethical implications of using Health Technology Assessment to make healthcare funding decisions. Material is presented as if it is relatively uncontroversial whilst the methodology itself is highly contested and sometimes results in court cases where the decision making process is the subject of legal dispute. These areas need much more exploration.
Very worthwhile course and I found the forest plot explanation and subsequent exercise very useful. My suggestion would be an exercise which looks at the downstream commissioning decisions consequent to a positive TA being issued by NICE eg for a cost effective high cost drug - what should it displace eg podiatry services for the elderly, liver transplants for ex alcoholics or IVF services etc etc. This can be really challenging but does expose the dilemma often faced by commissioners
This course provides an excellent introduction into the area of health technology assessment. It provides a good overview of the key principles, with plenty of opportunities for learning and discussion. The interactive nature of the course allows everyone to share their thoughts, views and opinions, which is a unique and fun way to learn.
This course should be appreciated for its exceptional clarity of contents, sequencing of topics and simple language being used to introduce the complex HTA discipline. Each module has been broken down into interesting bits and pieces which makes the participant to complete the topics without any exhaustion.
completed this course, spending 6 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
This course is very intresting. I have learnt alot from it. Last year I have taken pharmacoeconomics course and I tried to learn, but on this course I familiarised in a good manner. I ould like if you give us introduction to economics.
Your mode of delivery as intersting. Generally, I would like to thank you.
I found this a really useful overview and introduction to all the stages of Health Technology Assessment. It also made me consider the reasons why HTAs are undertaken, and the ways in which they support decision-making.
I enjoyed the insight the course gave me into the complexities of making making health funding treatments, and how the wider consequences of each funding decision is generally ignored (or misrepresented?) in the media.