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Open Access Highly Accessed Debate

Priority setting for new technologies in medicine: A transdisciplinary study

Jennifer L Gibson1*, Douglas K Martin2 and Peter A Singer13

Author Affiliations

1 University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics, 88 College St, Toronto, Canada M5G-1L4

2 Collaborative Program in Bioethics, Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, and Joint Centre for Bioethics, University of Toronto, 88 College St. Toronto, Canada M5G-1L4

3 Department of Medicine, University of Toronto

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BMC Health Services Research 2002, 2:14  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-2-14

Published: 18 July 2002



Decision makers in health care organizations struggle with how to set priorities for new technologies in medicine. Traditional approaches to priority setting for new technologies in medicine are insufficient and there is no widely accepted model that can guide decision makers.


Daniels and Sabin have developed an ethically based account about how priority setting decisions should be made. We have developed an empirically based account of how priority setting decisions are made. In this paper, we integrate these two accounts into a transdisciplinary model of priority setting for new technologies in medicine that is both ethically and empirically based.


We have developed a transdisciplinary model of priority setting that provides guidance to decision makers that they can operationalize to help address priority setting problems in their institution.