Professor Emeritus Lou Garrison spoke recently at health technology assessment (HTA) meetings held in Cairo and New Delhi with similar themes in both regions. HTA is well appreciated in both regions and steps are being taken to build institutions and capacity to carry out HTA.
Lou was a keynote speaker in the 1st Annual Arab Health Economics Meeting: Evolution of Health Economics in Arab Countries. Organized by Dr. Gihan Hamdy Elsisi (a UW HEOR Certificate recipient), head of HTA Office, the meeting focused on HTA development in the Middle East and North Africa region with participants from those countries. He emphasized that HTA itself is a technology that should be adapted to and efficient in the local context in order to accelerate access to innovative medicines.
While in Cairo he was also invited to participate in an “Expert Consultation on HTA Transferability and Capacity” organized by the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office.
Lou then travelled to India, first, visiting Prof. Souvik Banerjee, a former CHOICE post-doctoral fellow, who teaches at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay. He spoke in Souvik’s health economics class, and then the two of them went on to New Delhi to participate in the International Symposium of Health Technology Assessment: ISHTA 2023: “Affordability, Availability and Accessibility of Healthcare Technologies through Evidence generated by HTA for Universal Health Coverage.” The symposium was sponsored by the WHO and the Center for Global Development. In his address, he emphasized the transferability of clinical evidence and the need more for rapid assessment of innovative medicines coupled with more aggressive price negotiation and differential pricing.