News from the implementation of a uniform EU-HTA?
"An important health policy topic seems to be receding into the background due to the corona pandemic, contrary to the original planning: the EU-HTA, an Europe-wide standardized benefit assessment of innovative drugs and medical devices.", said the German Medicines Manufacturers' Association (BAH) in a press release with regard to the start of the German EU Council Presidency on July 1st, 2020. A similar assessment is indicated in a press release of the German Pharmaceutical Industry Association (BPI): "Due to the corona crisis, topics such as the further development of a binding HTA process on a European level are certainly not at the top of the agenda."
This circumstance is also illustrated by the key themes of the conference on the future supply of medicines in the European Union (November 30th and December 1st, 2020 in Berlin), which is being organized in the framework of the German EU Council Presidency and which will be attended by political decision-makers as well as national and international healthcare institutions. Indeed, in contrast to the items on the agenda, which were strongly influenced by the corona pandemic, the implementation of an EU-HTA will not play a crucial role at this stage.
Finally, both institutions BAH and BPI continue to emphasize their interest in continuing this project as well as the great importance of an EU-HTA. According to the BAH, the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need for a faster and more efficient exchange of information. Nevertheless, a rapid development of the HTA dossier seems unlikely at present. As already reported in this blog series, there are many controversies and overcoming them is a time-consuming task. According to the Tagesspiegel magazine, the step-by-step introduction of an EU-HTA, which is desired by some member states, starting with the uniform benefit assessment of novel cancer drugs, would also delay the complete process by further years.
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