Please find relevant terms and definitions here.



Academic Assessment Group; group of scientists charged with the systematic review and synthesis (Assessment) of available evidence and drafting of the Assessment Report in the cHTA process.


Patient Protection Affordability and Care Act in USA (2010), with which an official HTA institute (PCORI) was established, that is commissioned with conducting Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER).

Accountability for Reasonableness

Influential concept for procedural fairness when deciding on the allocation of health services, as a consequence of which the legitimacy of allocation decisions is to be guaranteed through transparency (publicity), evidence basis and fairness criteria (relevance), commitment (enforcement) and rights of appeal.


Analytical Hierarchy Process.


Analysis list – Annex 3 of the healthcare services ordinance (KLV): positive list in which cost coverage is regulated by analyses as compulsory benefits of the social health insurance (see Art. 34 Para. 1 KVG).


"Medicines list with tariff" – Annex 4 of the healthcare services ordinance (KLV): positive list encompassing the active substances and excipients used in extemporaneous preparation, as well as products (see Art. 25, 32, 43 and 52 KVG).


Right of appeal for key stakeholders, only permitted following a decision by the FOPH and without any delaying effect; introduction requires that it be anchored in law.


Applicant in the rHTA proces.


Phase of the HTA process: evaluation (on the basis of an assessment in the rHTA process by way of exception – see fast-track procedure – also (only) on the basis of the value dossier of an applicant), comprehensively taking into account medical, economic, social and ethical criteria, if necessary also criteria not considered in the Assessment.


Phase of HTA process: objective scientific evaluation based on explicit, standardized criteria.

Assessment Report

Detailed report of the results of the assessment and documentation their derivation compiled by the Academic Assessment Group (in the cHTA process) charged with this by the HTA institute or Review report of the commissioned Dossier Assessment Group (in the rHTA process).



Bundesamt für Gesundheit, i.e. Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) in the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA).


siehe „Appeal“.


"Transparency law" – Swiss federal law on the principle of transparency in administration, in force since 1 July 2006.


Budget Impact Analysis.


Business Review Commission of the National Council (Geschäftsprüfungskommission des Nationalrates GPK-N).



A reference to the capability approach of Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum and in a wider sense also to the ideas of John Rawls and Norman Daniels with regard to the theory of justice for understanding health as a “conditional good”, the adequate existence of which not only creates life time and quality of life, but above all opens up the opportunity to realize freely chosen and self-determined life plans and to take part in social life; with far-reaching implications in some cases for the evaluation of outcomes, for example the measurement of "benefits" and "QALYs" – in the sense of "capability-adjusted life years" (currently a subject of research).


Comparative Effectiveness Research.

Chatham House Rules

Adopted by the Swiss HTA project team for the purpose of facilitating a free, trusting discussion: "When a conference or part of a conference is held under Chatham House Rules, participants are free to use the information obtained, but are not allowed to divulge either the identity or affiliation of a speaker or those of any other participant."


Complete Health Technology Assessment.

Cost Value Analysis (CVA)

A method of health economic evaluation proposed by Erik Nord (et al.). The method aims to make the social benefits of interventions for different groups of people comparable by means of a “Person Trade-Off” (PTO).

Coverage with Evidence Development (CED)

An option to include a promising technology in the catalogue of services for a limited period despite there (still) being a lack of sufficient evidence that it meets efficacy, suitability and cost-effectiveness criteria, subject to the requirement that the applicant presents the missing evidence within a defined period or faces sanctions.




Dossier Assessment Group; a group of scientists charged with assessing the presented evidence (Value Dossier of an applicant) and compiling the Assessment Report in the rHTA process; also referred to in documents as the Dossier Review Group.


Disability-Adjusted Life Year.



Federal Medicines Commission with the FOPH.


Federal Commission for Analyses, Products and Devices with the FOPH.


Evidence-based medicine.


Federal Department of Home Affairs FDHA (Eidgenössisches Departement des Inneren (EDI).


It is noticeable that different types of "efficiency" are considered in economic theory, which to some extent differ substantially from the sense of efficiency that is meant in the context of "cost-effectiveness". They include technical, productive, allocative and also dynamic and static efficiency.


Federal Commission for General Services and Key Issues with the FOPH.


European Medicines Agency based in London; authority with responsibility for the centralized European marketing authorization (currently binding for Member States of the European Union and EEA-EFTA States: Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) of medicinal product and medical devices on the basis of a scientific evaluation;


École Supérieure des Sciences Économiques et Commerciales, (private business school) in Cergy, a suburb in the west of Paris;


European Network for Health Technology Assessment; EU-sponsored initiative for HTAs since 2006;


Expected Utility Theory; decision theory on rational behaviour in risk situations axiomatized by John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern (1944).


Fair Innings

An argument, expounded above all by John Harris und Alan Williams, according to which a sense of justice dictates that everyone should have a right to a “fair innings” in life – the upshot of which is ultimately close to the argument of political liberalism (John Rawls, Norman Daniels; see also Capability) of health as a "conditional good".


Foederatio Medicorum Helveticorum, the Swiss Medical Association based in Berne;


Federal Office of Public Health (see BAG).



Swiss Conference of Cantonal Health Directors;



Swiss Hospitals Association;


Health-Adjusted Life Year, a group of outcome measures widely used in health economics that combines life time and quality of life in a single variable, such as QALYs, DALYs, HYEs.

Health Technology

see Technology.


High Level Pharmaceutical Forum of the European Commission.


Health Technology Assessment; see Technology.


Health Technology Assessment International; an international network of HTA stakeholders based in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada);


Healthy Year Equivalent, a measure from the group of HALYs proposed by Canadian economists Abraham Mehrez and Amiram Gafni (McMaster University, Hamilton, ON).



Incremental Cost Effectiveness Ratio, standard measure used in health economic cost-effectiveness analyses (CEAs).


Institute for Innovation & Valuation in Health Care in Wiesbaden;


International Society of Technology Assessment in Health Care (since 1985, superseded by Health Technology Assessment International in 2003).


Key Stakeholder

see "Stakeholder".


Healthcare services ordinance – full title: "Ordinance of the FDHA on services covered by compulsory health insurance" (29 September 1995) – regulates the legally stipulated catalogue of services covered by compulsory health insurance (OKP) on the basis of the Health Insurance Act (KVG), in addition to the Health Insurance Ordinance (KVV).


Swiss Health Insurance Act (18 March 1994).


Swiss Health Insurance Ordinance (27 June 1995).


Managed Entry-Strategy

Generic term for processes aimed at combining rapid access to promising new products and processes with controlled use, systematic closure of gaps in evidence and where applicable Risk sharing agreements between providers and payers.


List of devices and appliances (KLV, Annex 2); a positive list that basically contains only devices and appliances that can be applied or used by the insured person directly (or if necessary with the assistance of people not professionally involved in the study or treatment) (Art. 20 KLV).


Läkemedelsverket (medicines agency) in Stockholm, regulatory authority for medicinal products and medical devices in Sweden;


Mixed Treatment Comparison, a statistical method of “meta-analysis”, which allows indirect comparisons (conclusion of A versus B from comparative data A versus C and B versus C).



National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in London, since 1999; carries out Health Technology Assessments amongst other things for the National Health Service (NHS) in England and Wales.



Compulsory health insurance in Switzerland.


Office of Technology Assessment of the US Congress.


Measurable, medical outcome of a measure.



Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute in the USA, an HTA institute newly created with the health reform in 2010 (ACA).

Person Trade-Off (PTO)

Method proposed by Erik Nord (1999) for directly measuring the social benefit (instead of the individual benefit that is otherwise determined in the measurement of QALYs) of interventions; beyond the possible (expected) gain in health it considers the initial severity of the health disorder and the number of people affected.


Parliamentary Administrative Control body (Parlamentarische Verwaltungskontrolle PVK).



Quality-Adjusted Life Year, a widespread measure for measuring the (individual) health-related “benefit”, which conflates lifetime and (health-related) quality of life measured as an index both multiplicatively and additively in a single parameter.



Randomized (Controlled) Clinical Trial(s). These trials are a prerequisite for the highest level of evidence in the concept of evidence-based medicine (EBM).

Review Report

Detailed report of results in the Dossier Review and their derivation, drawn up by the Dossier Assessment Group commissioned with this task by the HTA institute (in the rHTA process) or Assessment Report by the commissioned Academic Assessment Group (in the cHTA process).


Rapid Health Technology Assessment.

Risk Sharing

Agreements between technology providers and payers with which the outcome and/or the cost risk associated with the use of a technology is divided between the two; especially for interventions that are expensive and/or not (yet) sufficiently proven with regard to their benefit.


Relative Social Willingness-to-Pay, (currently still an experimental) measure for social utility in the context of health economic evaluations.



Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences in Basel;


Scientific Advice Working Party of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), offers scientific advice for technology developers.

Scenario Analysis

A method especially used in innovation management for producing replicable forecasts of future trends; used in budget impact analyses to estimate for example the impact of different prices on market diffusion and hence the cost of a technology.

Sensitivity analysis

Method of analysing the effects of uncertainty on the results of an economic evaluation or a decision analysis.


Specialties list, conclusive positive list of medicines that can be prescribed in Switzerland and are covered by the compulsory health insurance (OKP), for which responsibility lies with the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH, decision-making authority).


Swiss Network for Health Technology Assessment, an independent network set up in 1999 by stakeholders with a shared interest in promoting the use of HTAs in Switzerland.

Social Preferences

Preferences for certain social arrangements; empirically for example the principle of reciprocity, aversion to inequality, altruism, but also envy and resentment; in consensus as a part of primary normative precepts considered (within the meaning of the concepts of an "empirical ethics") to fall under the criterion of suitability; unlike individual preferences (which in the context of individual utility measurement are assigned to the criterion of efficacy) social preferences refer to the wellbeing, success or health-related benefit for people other than the individual in question, but the measurement of strict methodological standards (selection basis, trade-offs) must be sufficient here and can therefore not be based on demoscopic surveys alone.


Broadly defined as all those interested in or affected by the HTA process and its outcomes, including the relevant groups of experts (for example HTA experts); key stakeholders are more closely defined as those directly affected economically and/or materially, who have the right of (appeal), regularly including patients (represented by their associations at federal level), the medical profession and other providers (represented by their associations), health insurers (represented by their associations) and technology providers (as prior providers represented by their associations, and also individually in the case of direct economic impact).


Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products, regulatory authority for medicinal products (human medicines, complementary and herbal medicines, veterinary medicines, narcotics, blood and blood products, medical devices and transplantation products) in Switzerland based in Berne;



Also Health Technology. Within the meaning of HTAs, technology has a wide-ranging definition that can include products (medicines, devices etc.), procedures (surgical interventions, multimodal treatment concepts etc.) and systems (prevention and managed care programmes etc.)


Tandvärds- och Läkemedelsförmänsverket (Dental and Pharmaceutical Benefits Agency), the institution responsible for reimbursement and price decisions (amongst others) for medicines in Sweden based in Stockholm;



Key concept of economics; derived from day-to-day understanding in the neoclassical mainstream and in normative decision theory as expected utility (in case of uncertainty; cf. Expected Utility Theory, EUT) which can be determined from the preferences of economic subjects: decision utility; this may differ – to some extent systematically – from actual experienced utility.



Winterthur Institute of Health Economics (Winterthurer Institut für Gesundheitsökonomie);


Willingness-to-pay, in (classical) economic welfare theory the maximum individual willingness to pay is the standard measure of individual utility.


Efficacy, suitability and cost-effectiveness (according to the KVG).



Zurich University of Applied Sciences (Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften mit Sitz in Winterthur);