The Department of Health (DOH) today released Administrative Order No. 2020-0041 as part of its commitment towards achieving Universal Health Care (UHC). The new implementing guidelines on Health Technology Assessment (HTA) serves to inform policy, coverage, and funding allocation on health technologies.

In line with the mandate of HTA to serve as a transparent priority setting mechanism in the development of policies and programs, regulation, and the determination of a range of entitlements to all Filipinos, the issuance provides guidance towards the purchase and coverage of health technologies funded by the DOH and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC). Aside from DOH offices, attached agencies, and decision-makers, the policy likewise engages with the public and private health sectors as primary stakeholders involved with implementing the HTA process.

While establishing provisions crucial to the HTA process, the guidelines further detail the HTA framework through the HTA Process and Methods Guides. The documents describe standards and methods governing the conduct of HTA as well as the methods of assessment used as basis by the HTA Council in providing recommendations to decision-makers.

Concurrent with the crafting of the guidelines, the Department has since convened the HTA Council, released and updated issuances, and began fulfilling the HTA-specific mandates as provided by the UHC Act which are further defined under the new Administrative Order and the HTA Process and Methods Guides.

In recognition of the imperative to give timely evidence-based guidance to the DOH and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), also included in the Administrative Order and its annexes is the expedited process for HTA in public health emergencies. To date, the HTAC has released recommendations on COVID-19 technologies.

Marking a pivotal step towards the actualization of the UHC act, the HTA process and framework give precedence to principles of ethical soundness, inclusiveness and preferential regard for the underserved, and evidence-based and scientific defensibility.

The HTA Administrative Order and its annexes may be accessed through the following links: