The idea to launch a Section on Health Technology Assessment (HTA) is in line with the mission of EUPHA which is to support practice and policy decisions through scientific evidence. HTA represents the other side of the interface between researchers, health care professionals and decision makers and is committed to collect and produce knowledge about the impact of healthcare technologies. HTA includes a group of methods and tools which may support decision makers allocating resources in the healthcare sector at international, national and local level. Because of this, a Section on HTA could be useful in order to have a comprehensive view on the ways to pursue value for money both in drug licensing/delivering and in the utilisation of all the other healthcare technologies. A Section is considered necessary to bring together all the professionals who are already involved in the evaluation of healthcare technologies across existing Sections.
Furthermore, HTA is already implemented at the international level; indeed it could be desirable to develop and supply, within EUPHA, a platform for the exchange of methods and tools for the evidence based practice in the field of allocation of health care resources. This could be helpful in order to purse the EUPHA strategic objective of “Policy building” and to make EUPHA an ideal seat for developing new and innovative research programs and proposals with respect to HTA applied to Public Health.
Another reason to support this initiative is represented by the Directive 2011/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of March 9th 2011 on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare which establishes rules for facilitating access to safe and high-quality cross-border healthcare in the European Union and ensures patient mobility between Member States (MS). According to the same Directive, MS have the responsibility for providing safe, high quality, efficient and quantitatively adequate healthcare to citizens on their territory: indeed, HTA could represent the key to identify healthcare technologies to be provided.
The aim of the HTA Section would be to bring together academicians, researchers, health care professionals and decision makers who are keen to work together in the view of optimizing the use of financial and human resources in the healthcare delivery. In particular the Section would like to offer a structured platform to share knowledge and developing new ideas in the field of Public Health. Indeed, the objective will be to collect expertise from the other fields in order to strengthen a group of people devoted to the application of HTA to technologies used in Public Health.
The goals of the Section are to:
- bring together professionals who are involved in HTA at different level, within and outside EUPHA, in order to promote an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas and inputs;
- spread the knowledge about contents, methods and tools of HTA within EUPHA;
- share methods and tools with other academicians, researchers, health care professionals and manufacturers who are entrusted to produce evidence in order to promote the release of information which are useful for HTA process;
- support the use of standardized methods which are already available in the field of HTA;
- promote the development of new methods and recommendations to address emerging topics in the field (i.e. disinvestment, patient involvement/centeredness);
- support comparative studies at international level in order to figure out best practices and suggestions for the implementation of HTA at European and national level (benchmarking);
- endorse the continuous update of HTA.
In order to make EUPHA members informed about the rationale and the aim of the initiative on HTA, a meeting will be held in Brussels during the EPH Conference. Furthermore, a survey about HTA experience will be carried out in order to describe the European context and inspiring the strategic plan for upcoming activities.
The Section continues to pursue its aims through:
- the establishment of partnership with Organizations, Networks and Institutions already involved in delivering or using HTA in order to:
- promote capacity building programs for professionals;
- get in touch with decision makers in order to know about their priorities in Public Health;
- the conduction of surveys in order to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for HTA in Public Health at international and national level;
- the encouragement and coordination of international and comparative projects in the field of HTA applied to Public Health policy questions;
- the promotion of submission of results coming from international and national initiatives in the field of HTA applied to Public Health at the annual EPH Conferences and elsewhere;
- the organization of thematic workshops during EPH Conferences.
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