Registry data for use in health technology assessments in Norway – Opportunities and challenges


  • Gunhild Hagen Department of Reviews and Health Technology Assessments, Division of Health Services, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Department of Health Economics and Health Management, Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo
  • Torbjørn Wisløff Department of Community Medicine, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Modelling, Division of Infection Control and Environmental Health, Norwegian Institute of Public Health



Decisions on uptake of medicines and medical devices on health insurance schemes are increasingly based on
a health technology assessment (HTA) process. In Norway, the process has included reimbursement of outpatient
medicines for two decades. During the past years, in-patient medicines, medical devices and more
recently vaccines are all included in the HTA system. In the present article, we outline the Norwegian HTA
system including its central components and partners. HTA as a scientific approach puts evidence on efficacy,
safety and value of interventions into a broader perspective, explicitly considering relevant factors, among these
legal, ethical and organisational aspects of the intervention. Although several combinations of aspects are
possible, the most common is an assessment of the relative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the
intervention. Randomised controlled trials have long been considered the mainstay for assessment of clinical
effectiveness pre-launch, while registry data have been used to inform safety post-lunch, by pharmacovigilance.
Recently, we have seen a move towards more use of “real world evidence”, i.e. data from non-RCT sources,
mainly from registries. A model-based approach is often used to assess cost-effectiveness, in this context,
different types of evidence from different sources are often synthesized. In this paper we describe the central
components of HTA with special emphasis on different observational data sources, such as the unique Norwegian
health registries. We finally speculate on future directions for use of observational data in HTA, both in a
global and Norwegian setting.


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How to Cite

Hagen , . G. ., & Wisløff, T. . (2021). Registry data for use in health technology assessments in Norway – Opportunities and challenges. Norsk Epidemiologi, 29(1-2).