December 11, 2014
The Health Technology Assessment (HTA) strategy paper, supported by the Joint Action EUnetHTA, provides evidence-based information and analysis to help decision-makers achieve sustainable healthcare systems and promote innovative healthcare options for patients. The paper highlights cooperation as the cornerstone for better healthcare assessment and reimbursement in Europe. It also unveils a strategy to help HTA secure long-term sustainability. HTA appreciates and respects the autonomy of individual states but also highlights the importance for stakeholders to take an active collaborative role regarding HTA activities in the EU. The strategy delineates the importance of broad cooperation and considers that cooperation at EU level should encompass the full life cycle of health technologies from the early scientific advice phase to the developed technology. Along with pharmaceuticals and medical devices, the strategy aims for cooperation on a wide range of technologies to improve healthcare. The paper notes that for rare conditions, pediatric medicines or advanced therapies, the added value of EU cooperation is likely to be even greater. For better outcomes, the paper urges HTA bodies to reuse joint work, pool knowledge and acknowledge the importance of stakeholders’ involvement in HTA processes at European, national and regional levels. The paper also addresses the EU’s role in international cooperation by welcoming input from the WHO, and calls for the European Commission to include HTA as part of the “EU Health strategy for Developing Countries”.