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How to enhance cross-border collaboration in the field of Health Technolog Assessment?

Willemsen, Anne (2015) How to enhance cross-border collaboration in the field of Health Technolog Assessment?

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Abstract:Introduction: One of the means to inform policy makers on health technologies is Health Technology Assessment (HTA). Despite various criticisms, HTA is common place throughout Europe. Due to considerable overlaps in HTA topics assessed across Europe, cross-border collaboration is assumed to result in efficiency and quality gains in the field of HTA. Other advantages of cross-border collaboration are to enhance good practice of THA, and ensure equity and accessibility of care across Europe. This intended cross-border collaboration is facilitated by EUnetHTA, by producing Joint Assessments of medical technologies. Nevertheless, considerable differences between pharmaceuticals and medical devices exist, amongst others at a regulatory level. In EUnetHTA Joint Action 2 it was for the first time EUnetHTA was able to start producing Joint Assessments on a routinely basis, as such collecting experiences on the usability of these Joint Assessments. Detailed information on usage of pharmaceutical and other technology Joint Assessments is required in order to successfully steer the future of EUnetHTA after finalization in 2020. Methods: Two web-based surveys were conducted, sent to all 69 EUnetHTA partner organisations. Throughout this research, nine Joint Assessments (published by EUnetHTA until June 2015) were used as case-studies. Insights in (differences of) the level of National Adaptation of both categories of Joint Assessments, were gained by conducting descriptive statistics. Results: In total, the response rate was 71.1% (n= 49). Besides producing a local HTA report other purposes, such as direct decision-making and cross-checking evidence, were also considered relevant. Herein a difference was perceived between pharmaceutical and other technology Joint Assessments. Cross-checking evidence was deemed relevant for pharmaceutical Joint Assessments, but for other technologies this was the least preferred purpose. For both categories of Joint Assessments various challenges and barriers were perceived, mainly relating to topic selection and timing of the assessments. Whereas between the two categories minimal differences were found in challenges perceived when using Joint Assessments, for other technologies more barriers were perceived preventing the use of these Joint Assessments than for pharmaceuticals. Discussion: After finalization of EUnetHTA JA3 in 2020, cross-border collaboration should happen on a voluntary basis. Therefore, EUnetHTA should focus on pragmatic solutions and ensure compatibility of future Joint Assessments with the needs and wishes of European HTA organisations. Despite first, positive, results on the National Adaptation of Joint Assessments for both categories, room for improvement exists. For both categories various impeding factors were perceived, but for other technologies far more barriers than challenges were perceived compared to pharmaceuticals. Given the extent of regulatory decentralisation in Europe concerning other technologies, especially for these technologies barriers of topic selection and timing of conduction Joint Assessments should be resolved. Despite the hindrances perceived, the satisfaction on usability of the Joint Assessments was especially high for other technology Joint Assessments. Hence, if the hindrances can be resolved, the National Adaptation of Joint Assessments may be improved, enabling a sustainable and voluntary network of cross-border collaboration in the field of HTA. Bij publicatie van de studie, waarvan dit een samenvatting is, wordt het gepubliceerde werk via deze Repository openbaar gemaakt.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:01 general works
Programme:Health Sciences MSc (66851)
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