DOH convenes local experts to create HTAC

HTAC’s first meeting with the SOH 11 October 2019, DOH Convention Hall

After a rigorous selection process which considered a number of the most respected names in the Philippines in different fields of expertise, chosen members of the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) convened for the first time last October 11, 2019 at the DOH Convention Hall.

The council elected Dr. Marita Tolentino-Reyes, an ethics practitioner, as the chair of the Core Committee, while Dr. Annabelle Borromeo, the patient representative to HTA Council, was hailed as the co-chair. The Core Committee  also include Dr. Maria Carrines Alejandria, Atty. Bu Castro, Dr. Martha Cayad-an, Dr. Aleli Kraft, Dr. Cecilia Maramba- Lazarte, Dr. Jacinto Mantaring III and Dr. Carmen Tolabing. Secretary Francisco T. Duque III initially chaired their first meeting to emphasize the crucial role of HTA in achieving UHC and to officially orient the members on their priorities, roles and responsibilities.

Twenty one experts on specific health technologies were also selected as members of the HTAC Subcommittees: (1) Drugs, (2) Vaccines, (3) Clinical Equipment and Devices, (4) Medical and Surgical Procedure, (5) Preventive and Promotive Health Services, and (6) Traditional Medicine and (7) Other Health Technologies. These subcommittees shall support the HTA Core Committee in achieving a timely, effective, efficient and responsive technology assessment process.

As a crucial part of the realization of universal health coverage in the Philippines, the HTAC is mandated to: facilitate the provision of financing and coverage recommendations on health technologies to be financed by the Department of Health (DOH) and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth); oversee and coordinate the HTA process within DOH and PhilHealth; and, review and assess existing DOH and PhilHealth benefit packages.