More patient involvement needed in Health Technology Assessment

©EuNetHTA, 2011 conference

‘EUnetHTA’ or European Network on Health Technology Assessment (HTA) was established to create an effective and sustainable network on this issue across Europe. On 28-29 May the consortium of the EUnetHTA Joint Action (JA) gathered in Copenhagen, Denmark, for their last plenary assembly.

Valentina Strammiello, EPF Programme Officer, attended the meeting to speak on behalf of the patients’ stakeholder group. This group includes our members, the European Association for rare diseases, EURORDIS, and the European umbrella for Multiple Sclerosis, EMSP.

“Health Technology Assessment is the systematic evaluation of properties, effects, and impacts of health technology. The patients’ perspective should be present as it has proved to be crucial for the success of HTA” highlights Ms. Strammiello.

We also took this opportunity to remind national HTA agencies involved in the JA the importance of simplifying the reports they release. “Patients need to be able to access information in a user-friendly format to be able to understand it and therefore get engaged” continued our Programme Officer.

Besides easier access to information, we highlighted the need of patients for more transparency and for a bottom-up approach in the selection of products and procedures to be assessed. “Until now only national HTA bodies chose these topics while patients can contribute an added value in this choice from a user perspective” concluded Ms. Strammiello.

Four groups were represented in this collaboration: patients/consumers, industry, payers and healthcare providers. The first Joint Action ran from 2010 to 2012, and the second one started in 2012 until this year. The third and final JA will start in 2016 until 2018.

EPF is currently working with the Commission and fellow stakeholders to ensure that the last Joint Action will embed a strong stakeholder input in all relevant aspects and help to underpin the sustainability of European cooperation on HTA in the long term.

Contact: Valentina Strammiello, Programme Officer at