Health First Europe today launches its pocket card recommendations on Health Technology Assessment (HTA) in order to ensure increased knowledge at EU level about HTA and its use as a tool to provide patient access to new, advanced health technologies. Health First Europe believes that the structure of an effective network for HTA collaboration at EU and Member State levels must include increased stakeholder involvement in HTA decisions and greater transparency of how decisions are taken in order to achieve an effective structure for cooperation.
Member States are using HTA more frequently as part of the healthcare decision making process. HTA is an evaluative process of new health technologies which assesses the value of the technology in relation to patient well-being. In response to more frequent use of HTA, the European Commission has been facilitating greater cooperation and knowledge-sharing between Member States as part of Joint Actions on HTA (EUnetHTA) and will launch a permanent collaborative network in 2013 based on the legal provision within the Patients’ Rights in Cross-border Healthcare Directive.
John Bowis, Health First Europe Honorary President, explained “Making HTA processes more inclusive by increasing the involvement of stakeholders (particularly patient groups) in the HTA process ensures that evaluations of new health technologies always give substantial consideration to the most important beneficiary of the technology – the patient.”
Health First Europe recommends that the new network for HTA collaboration strive to make HTA a more inclusive process including the creation of a stakeholder appeal process for decisions on HTA as well as ensuring declarations of conflicts of interest are made by all stakeholders. Additionally, Health First Europe believes that greater transparency is necessary for the methodologies used to determine value in HTA assessments as well as increased flexibility in the approach to HTA to capture the full impact of medical technologies on patients, careers, the healthcare systems and society in general.
For more information, please visit: www.healthfirsteurope.org