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History

For over two decades, different countries have used the principles of Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) and Health Technology Assessment (HTA) in order to inform health decision and have institutionalized the use of evidence to improve health care standards and promote sustainable health systems. Evidence of this is the development of Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) and HTA reports to inform coverage and pricing decisions in the UK, France, Germany, Nordic countries and more recently in Latin America and Asia.

In 2010, the Colombian Government, with the technical and financial support of the Inter-American Development Bank – IDB, initiated an international referencing process to create a local agency to promote the use of evidence for decision-making. With the support of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence - NICE of the United Kingdom and the Instituto de Efectividad Clínica y Sanitaria - IECS from Argentina, successful experiences from countries like England, Wales, Germany, Holland, Australia, Brazil, Uruguay and Chile were reviewed to suggest best practices in stablishing HTA agencies. Considering that evidence-based decision making promotes transparency and legitimacy, reduces unjustified variability of clinical practice and maximizes health benefits for a given amount of resources, Colombia decided to create the Colombian Institute of Health Technology Assessment (IETS) as a not-for-profit and independent organization that promotes evidence-based decision-making.

IETS is a member of world-renowned international organizations and associations which focus on health technology assessment and clinical practice guidelines: Guidelines International Network - (GIN), the International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment – INAHTA, Health Technology Assessment International - HTAi, and REDETSA – OPS, Red de Evaluación de Tecnologías Sanitarias para las Américas (HTA Network of the Americas), whose mission is to promote and strengthen health technology assessment, through regional exchange, as a tool that supports decision making on the incorporation, dissemination and use of technologies.