Who has the say in Health Technology Assessment?

TitleWho has the say in Health Technology Assessment?
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsMay N, Godfrey M
Pagination79 p.
InstitutionHill & Knowlton
KeywordsTechnology Assessment, Biomedical
Abstract‘Who has the Say in Health Technology Assessment?’ is a 79-page August 2010 report commissioned by leading healthcare communications agency, Hill & Knowlton. The report aims to analyse the perceptions and opinions of patients and other key stakeholders to the subject of health technology assessment (HTA). The report supports the growing debate around how HTA processes can become more inclusive, and to acknowledge the vital place of the patient voice. The report’s findings are based upon a survey of the views on HTA of over 100 patient associations across Europe. In addition, the report draws upon in-depth interviews conducted with the stakeholders most involved in HTA—drugs regulators, industry, insurers, policymakers, and politicians. UK research organisation PatientView authored the report, and carried out the survey and the interviews. Key findings from the report: ● The vast majority of patient advocacy groups in Europe feel that patients are ignorant about HTA, and regard the process as complex, and often beyond their comprehension.● Only 27% of the survey’s respondent patient groups say that the contribution of HTA has been positive. ● Patient groups feel disengaged from HTA; they point out that HTA agencies across Europe have, together, included only a handful of patient advocates in any form of discussions on HTA. ● The majority of patient groups are not aware of possessing any rights to dispute HTA decisions. Certain rights do exist, but they are opaque, and difficult to implement. ● 83% of respondent patient groups want to be involved in European initiatives on HTA. ● Patients and their representative patient groups can hold unique perspectives on HTA. The respondent groups think that, for this reason, patients’ views should be taken into account in defining and implementing HTA processes. ● Patient groups would like HTA to be more accountable to the public and to patients (rather than just to HTA agencies and governments). ● The majority of the respondent patient groups call for HTA to start considering the impact that a medical technology might (or might not) have on a whole range of new, patient‐relevant factors, including: patients’ quality of life (94%); patients’ ability to live independently (77%); patients’ capacity to return to work (62%); and the lives of carers (50%). ‘Who has the Say in Health Technology Assessment?’ was released on October 28th 2010 at a meeting held in Brussels under the auspices of the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium. The meeting brought together leading European HTA leaders, patient groups and industry representatives. Key issues in HTA were discussed in the meeting—in particular, the need to agree ways to ensure greater inclusion among stakeholder groups (such as patients).