Development of health technology assessment in Lithuania.Int J Technol Assess Health Care 2009; 25 Suppl 1:140-2IJ
To describe how Lithuania is attempting to develop health technology assessment (HTA) structures.
The case study of the history of development of HTA in Lithuania is presented.
Historical steps of HTA development are as follows: in 1993, a few conferences on HTA; eight people were trained in Sweden at SBU; the book First Steps of HTA in Lithuania (5) was issued together with SBU in 1993; participation in the International Society of Technology Assessment in Health Care (ISTAHC) conferences; participation in development of training courses and European networks of HTA; new people in HTA were trained in health accreditation service, Sickness Fund, and Ministry of Health. The major step was establishment of an evidence-based medicine library. In 1994, Article 54 in the Health Care System Law, which declares that the use of healthcare technologies that have not been assessed or approved shall be prohibited, except in cases provided by law, was passed. The procedure of healthcare technologies assessment and approval was to be established by the Ministry of Health Care. A policy of HTA was approved with the program for HTA in 1999 in the Ministry of Health. Currently, enthusiasts of HTA fully realize that technology assessment is a developing frontier for creative and constructive thinking from all disciplinary view points.
Unfortunately, in this country, there is still a very small demand for HTA reports from the decision-maker's side. Hopefully joining the network of European Union Network for Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA) will give a new challenge for further policy development.