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Online course

Health Technology Assessment: Choosing Which Treatments Get Funded

Before new drugs or treatments are adopted, their effectiveness and cost must be assessed. Find out how in this online course.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Health Technology Assessment: Choosing Which Treatments Get Funded

Understand why new health technologies are funded

Have you ever wondered why some drugs are made available to patients via healthcare services such as the NHS, while others are not?

In this course, we’ll look at how healthcare organisations make decisions about whether we should have access to certain treatments, focusing on a key part of the information used to make these decisions - Health Technology Assessment (HTA).

You can continue to learn about healthcare decision-making in our other course Measuring and Valuing Health.

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 15 secondsHave you ever wondered why some drugs are made available to patients via healthcare services such as the NHS while others are not? In this course, we'll look at how healthcare organisations make decisions about whether we should have access to treatments, and we'll focus on a key part of the information used in this decision making process - the Health Technology Assessment, or HTA for short.

Skip to 0 minutes and 39 secondsOver five weeks, we'll take you through the processes that go into creating a Health Technology Assessment. We'll investigate how HTA can help aid decision making by finding and bringing together a wide variety of evidence about both the effects of treatments, and what they cost, and their economic impacts. And we'll look at how sophisticated research methods and techniques are used to bring this evidence together in a format that can be used in a variety of health systems around the world. We'll look at some of the key stages in the HTA process in order to answer some questions about a new treatment, such as how do we know if the treatment is of benefit?

Skip to 1 minute and 15 secondsHow can we make sense of all the evidence that's out there? And how is evidence about the cost and economic impacts of drugs used within HTA? Finally, we'll explore how the HTA report fits within the wider range of information used to make decisions about which treatments to fund. The educators for this course are based in the School of Health and Related Research at The University of Sheffield and are experts in this kind of research. So you'll be learning from people who are both actively involved in HTA and in developing the research methods that are used.

Skip to 1 minute and 46 secondsWe'll hear from expert reviewers, health economists and researchers as they give insights into how they contribute to a final Health Technology Assessment report that could inform huge decisions about what treatments are available to you and to others. We want to help anyone, regardless of their previous knowledge of the subject, to understand more about HTA. So whether you're a health professional, a carer, a patient, or simply an interested member of the public, the next time you hear a news story reporting that a drug is not going to be made available via health services, you will understand that it's never simply a case of it being too expensive.

What topics will you cover?

We’ll look at some of the key processes of HTA in order to answer some key questions about a new treatment, such as:

  • How do we know if the treatment is of benefit?
  • How can we make sense of all the evidence?
  • How is evidence of the cost of drugs used in HTA?

We’ll also explore how the final HTA report fits within the wider range of information used to make decisions about which treatments to fund.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Explore the assessment process for a new health technology and how this applies to a potential decision outcome.
  • Explain the process behind decisions about which healthcare treatments are funded to a patient or member of the public.
  • Investigate a health technology assessment (HTA) and understand the evidence presented.
  • Contribute to an informed discussion about whether or not a new health technology is adopted and funded by the NHS, or other national healthcare system.

Who is the course for?

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.”

Who will you learn with?

Claire Beecroft

I am an Information Specialist and University Teacher at the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at the University of Sheffield.

Who developed the course?

The University of Sheffield is one of the world’s top 100 universities with a reputation for teaching and research excellence.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $89 you'll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

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  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

Access to tests

When you upgrade you’ll have access to any tests during the course.

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  • Validate your learning
  • Ensure you have mastered the material
  • Qualify for a certificate

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to take any tests and score over 70%. You don’t get access to tests if you choose to take a course for free.

Certificate of Achievement

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

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  • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your hard work
  • Display on your LinkedIn or CV
  • Includes free shipping

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete, and score over 70% on any course tests.

Upgrade


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