OBJECTIVES AND METHODS: To review Switzerland's mixed public and private healthcare system with regard to health technology assessment (HTA). RESULTS: In the past, remarkable work in HTA was done. Accomplishments include the following: (i) Switzerland became an early member of the International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment. (ii) HTA has its legal bases in terms of effectiveness, appropriateness, and efficiency. (iii) The federal law allows the introduction of new technologies for a limited time for evaluation. (iv) A Swiss Network for Health Technology Assessment was established. In 2004, federal HTA activities moved from the Swiss Federal Office "of Social Security" to the one for "Public Health." The Office mainly mandates, manages, and coordinates evaluations attached to its prevention and intervention sections in the fields of AIDS, illegal drugs, and legal drugs. CONCLUSIONS: Because of the absence of a governmental institution assessing and reporting on new health technologies, private and for profit organizations became more important for the decision-making processes. In a regulated market, the implications may be crucial for the public health.