Regulatory, Policy, and Financing Decisions in International Health Systems

Princeton, NJ—November 22, 2016—The International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) recently concluded its 19th Annual European Congress in Vienna, Austria. More than 4,700 delegates—stakeholders from all sectors of health care, including health ministries and government offices, health technology assessment bodies, public and private payers, researchers and academics, patients and patient advocates—representing 89 countries convened on 29 October through 2 November 2016 to discuss access to medical innovations in Europe.

The theme of the Congress, “Managing Access to Medical Innovation: Strengthening the Methodology-Policy Nexus,” focused on the more extensive use of health technology assessment in country-level decision making. In light of the lessons learned from nearly three decades of health economics and outcomes research, delegates came together to discuss and debate how this science can be coordinated with regulatory decision making and leveraged for more creative financing of medical technology to help satisfy patient preferences for new technology.

Three topical plenary sessions were featured at the congress. The 31 October plenary, What Synergies Could Be Created Between Regulatory and Health Technology Assessments?, explored the potential synergies in the work and processes used by regulators and health technology assessment (HTA) bodies. The 1 November plenary, Differential Pricing of Medicines in Europe: Implications for Access, Innovation, and Affordability, examined options for promoting efficient differential pricing in Europe. And the final plenary session on 2 November, How to Control Costs and Improve Access to Medicines: Lessons from the InterQuality Project, explored important themes emerging from an international research project on financing quality in health care. 

A number of influential summits were also held in conjunction with the ISPOR European Congress, including an HTA Roundtable and a multi-stakeholder Patient Representatives Roundtable.

ISPOR’s Annual European Congress provides an unbiased global platform for those involved in health economics and outcomes research (HEOR) to meet, share information, and discuss the use of HEOR research and scientific methods in health care decision making. The congress helps further ISPOR’s mission to promote health economics and outcomes research excellence to improve decision making for health globally.

ISPOR CEO Nancy Berg stated, “Our commitment to strengthen the integrity, understanding, and use of health economics and outcomes research is at the core of everything ISPOR does—and the 19th Annual European Congress was the perfect embodiment of that core principle. Health care leaders from around the world (representing 89 different countries) gathered in Vienna to discuss the regulatory and health policy considerations in providing access to medical innovations across regional and global health care settings. Not only is ISPOR facilitating those discussions, but our members are actively conducting the research and refining the methods that inform these important health care decisions. Based on the discussions and lessons learned that were presented at the Congress, it is clear that we have made a lot of progress. But there is a lot more work to be done, and I fully expect that ISPOR (and its global community of 20,000+ members) will be at the forefront in developing, validating, and advancing research excellence to improve health.”

The congress was co-chaired by Hans-Georg Eichler, MD, MSc, Senior Medical Officer, European Medicines Agency, London, United Kingdom and Tomasz Hermanowski, PhD, InterQuality Project Leader and Professor and Head, Department of Pharmacoeconomics, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland.

A number of leadership and service awards were presented at the congress. J. Jaime Caro,  MDCM, FRCPC, Chief Scientist at Evidera, received the ISPOR Marilyn Dix Smith Leadership Award, which recognizes one individual each year who has provided extraordinary leadership to the Society. Distinguished Service Awards were presented to the Annual European Congress Program co-chairs, Hans-Georg Eichler, MD, MSc and Tomasz Hermanowski, PhD; and to ISPOR’s Health Technology Assessment Roundtable Europe Co-Chairs, Mirjana Huić, MD, PhD, Assistant Director, Department for Development, Research, and Health, Technology Assessment, Agency for Quality and Accreditation in Health Care and Social Welfare, Zagreb, Croatia and Alric Rüther, MD, PhD, Head, International Affairs, Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, Cologne, Germany. Annual European Congress Research Presentation Podium and Poster Awards were also presented at the congress.

Additional information on the ISPOR 19th Annual European Congress can be found here. Released presentations from the congress can be found here. Interested parties can follow news and developments from the conference on social media using the hashtag #ISPORVienna.


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