Europe’s health care systems aren’t feeling very well–something the current pandemic isn’t improving -and Health Technology Assessments (HTAs) are at the heart of the strategy to improve their quality, efficiency,and sustainability. They have been put in place to move towards a more value-based and evidence-driven decision-making in health care, concerning everything from pharmaceuticals to devices and procedures.
While HTAs are key in ensuring new drugs and medical devices deliver meaningful innovation for patients and good value for money for health systems, cooperation between the more than 50 HTA bodies in the EU is still voluntary. The European Commission’s proposal to strengthen HTA cooperation between members states has been mired in talks since it was first put forward in 2018 —but trialogues with the Parliament and Council have finally reached an informal deal. If planned out successfully, this text could open the door to more cooperation, more efficiency, and a less fragmented internal market –resulting in a more competitive sector, and a fairer access to valuable drugs across the EU.
The negotiations on HTA cooperation in the EU are also a good opportunity to look at HTA processes more broadly: what works well, what needs to be improved to make them future proof, what are the best practices in the EU and how they can be used to improve HTAs across the bloc.
Main questions for discussion include: