What Is the Future of Health Technology Assessment in Europe?

Glasgow, Scotland, UK—7 November 2017—ISPOR, the professional society for health economics and outcomes research (HEOR), held the second plenary session, “Appraising the Appraisers: What Is the Future of Health Technology Assessment in Europe?” this morning at its 20th Annual European Congress in Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

The plenary was moderated by Andrew Briggs, DPhil, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK. Speakers included Susan Guthrie, PhD, MSci, Rand Europe, Cambridge, UK; Nicola Allen, PhD, Precision for Value, London, UK; and Zoe Garrett, MPhil, MRes, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and EUnetHTA, Manchester, UK. The session examined how health technology assessment (HTA) processes in Europe vary across regional jurisdictions and presented viewpoints of a variety of health care stakeholders.

Andrew Briggs, DPhil moderated the session. Speakers noted that HTA processes can vary greatly from country to country. Some countries, such as Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Sweden, and The Netherlands, are early adopters and their process includes a formal economic evaluation. In contrast, other countries, such as France, Spain, and Italy, have a less arduous approach. And some countries (Romania and Bulgaria) take the approach of referencing HTAs performed elsewhere. Additionally, bodies such as the European Network for Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA) offer the potential to streamline HTA processes by enabling information sharing and supporting structured collaboration between jurisdictions.

Susan Guthrie, PhD, MSci spoke on the qualitative and quantitative analysis of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment Programme. The objective of the NIHR HTA Programme is to fund research on the effectiveness, costs, and broader impact of health technologies for those who use, manage, and provide care in the National Health Service. Both approaches to the analysis suggest that the NIHR HTA Programme is effective in delivering many of its intended outcomes.

Nicola Allen, PhD discussed the history of and comparisons between the European national HTA and decision making systems. The variations between the different countries’ HTA environments can negatively impact stakeholders in a variety of ways, including diverging outcomes of HTA reports, duplication of work, decreased business predictability, higher costs, and disincentive for innovation. While challenges exist in aligning HTA in Europe, certain issues can be resolved and future collaboration is anticipated.

Zoe Garrett, MPhil, MRes spoke on sustainable HTA cooperation in the region. A sustainable model of HTA cooperation provides an opportunity to make better use of HTA resources and support evidence-based, sustainable, and equitable choices in health care. The model, however, should also strive to be a solution to the challenges HTA agencies face. In order to be sustainable, the model needs to consider a variety of stakeholder voices, support agencies to develop and establish processes where needed, be predictable and forward-looking, produce timely and relevant outputs, and meet the requirements for accountability and transparency.

Additional information on the ISPOR 20th 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 congress on social media using the hashtag #ISPORGlasgow.



ISPOR, the professional society for health economics and outcomes research (HEOR), is an international, multistakeholder, nonprofit dedicated to advancing HEOR excellence to improve decision making for health globally. The Society is the leading source for scientific conferences, peer-reviewed and MEDLINE-indexed publications, good practices guidance, education, collaboration, and tools/resources in the field.
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