Priority setting for the evaluation of health technologies in the Netherlands is exclusively based on the scientific merits of individual research proposals. This process has not resulted in satisfactory allocation of resources. Therefore, societal criteria for setting priorities for health technology assessment have been proposed as an adjunct to scientific criteria. These societal criteria include the burden of disease, uncertainty about the (cost-)effectiveness of the intervention at issue, the potential benefits of the research project, and its potential impact on health care. To realize the full potential of this model for priority setting, a number of methodological issues need to be addressed. Joint efforts of researchers and policy makers in this field are necessary for future progress.