HTA processes in UK and Japan: what can we learn from each other? - NU/LSHTM project

Title of PhD project / theme

HTA processes in UK and Japan: what can we learn from each other? 

Supervisory team


Lead: Professor Andrew Briggs (, Faculty of Public Health and Policy) 

Nagasaki University 

Professor Makiko NARITA (, Department of Economics) 


Brief description of project / theme

Just in April 2019, Japan formally entered the world of Health Technology Assessment as a formal process for achieving reimbursement in their health system, following a pilot study that started in April 2016 conducted by the Central Social Insurance Medical Council (Chuikyo). 

This PhD project will be based on comparing learnings from one of the oldest HTA processes (NICE in the UK) and emerging experience with Japan’s process.  The project will start by describing the newly announced HTA process in Japan, and comparing it to other HTA processes around the world, including a contextual analysis of Japan’s health system. 

This will be followed by a comparative analysis of HTA decisions.  Technologies evaluated in the first two/three years of Japan’s process will be identified and compared to NICE technology appraisals conducted over the same period.  Overlap between topic areas will be identified and will form the basis of direct comparative analysis of the resulting HTAs.  Where there are no corresponding HTAs in each jurisdiction, the reasons for discrepancy will be explored. 

The potential impact of Japan’s new HTA process will be explored using by qualitative and quantitative techniques employing and developing a recently published framework for HTA impact assessment.  The project will conclude by assessing how Japan’s new HTA process is developing during its first few years, and by making policy recommendations for further evolution of the process. 


The role of LSHTM and NU in this collaborative project

The current pandemic situation has had a positive impact on everyone’s familiarity and ability to work remotely.  This will assist in the joint collaborative supervision of PhD student between the two institutions which will proceed by regular (anticipated monthly) joint supervision meetings by Zoom.   

Once the threat of C19 has passed, we anticipate that the student will spend equal time in London and Nagasaki.  In particular, we would be keen to explore the possibility of the student becoming a NICE Scholar (one-year unfunded opportunity to work with NICE in the UK – for details see: ) during their studentship, to advance their project.  We would assist and support their application to NICE. 

Particular prior educational requirements for a student undertaking this project

Ideally, a Master's level Health Economics qualification, but could be a closely related post-graduate qualification such as Health Services Research, MPH or medical statistics. 

Skills we expect a student to develop/acquire whilst pursuing this project

Critical appraisal, policy analysis, decision analysis, health economic evaluation and other methods for HTA.