Proposed streamlining of MSAC assessment of positron emission tomography (PET)
In response to stakeholder feedback, the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) is working with the Department of Health to develop a new approach to assessing applications for public funding of PET for use in the diagnosis and management of cancer. The new approach moves away from condition-based assessment and instead is seeking to assess the clinical utility of PET in relation to all fluorodeoxyglucose F 18 (FDG) avid tumours, regardless of the origin or site of the cancer. MSAC has advised that the initial work should focus on the use of PET for the initial staging of FDG-avid tumours. If this project proves successful, MSAC will investigate the suitability of this approach for the use of PET for diagnosis, surveillance and restaging. This approach may also have application to other investigative technologies. In developing this approach, MSAC acknowledges that PET is a proven technology and the performance characteristics of the technology are well understood. However, the key question for assessment and appraisal is whether use of PET in various stages of a patient’s treatment positively impacts on the patient’s management, outcome and is cost effective.
The Department has convened an expert working group to assist with the development of this new assessment approach, which was reviewed by the PICO Advisory Sub-Committee (PASC) at its December 2018 meeting.
The Evaluation Sub-Committee (ESC) has provided feedback on the new approach at its February and June 2019 meetings, including providing feedback on a model to evaluate effectiveness and a triage model to determine suitable cancer types for the new assessment process. A final draft of the approach is expected to be presented at the next ESC.
We invite interested stakeholders to stay informed of the progress of this work by monitoring this webpage.