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In this Review, we discuss the UK's Health Technology Assessment programme, which is 20 years old in 2013. We situate the programme in the context of the UK landscape for evidence-based medicine, including in relation to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and as guidance to the National Health Service. We identify features that might be of value to other health systems as they confront the challenges of rapid innovation and rising costs. We use examples of recent studies to show the strengths and weaknesses of the programme.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1278 - 1285


Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal, Biomedical Technology, Diffusion of Innovation, Endovascular Procedures, Equipment and Supplies, Evidence-Based Medicine, Financing, Government, Health Services Research, Humans, International Cooperation, Mental Health, Patient Participation, Program Evaluation, Public Opinion, Stents, Technology Assessment, Biomedical, United Kingdom