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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Summit unites industry, academia and patients in tackling HTA barriers

Health Industry Hub | November 11, 2022 |

Pharma News: Over recent years we have seen a progression from ‘should we involve patients’ in Health Technology Assessment (HTA) to ‘can we afford to involve patients’, and to the present situation that indicates ‘we cannot afford to leave patients out of HTAs’. Partnership approaches are important to keep HTA aligned with the rest of the healthcare system where person-centred care and shared decision-making are key elements.

Yesterday, a HTA Summit was led by ISPOR Australia and HTANALYSTS which provided a forum for industry, academia and patient organisations to share ideas and find common ground with respect to HTA technical issues, such as management of uncertainty or use of real world evidence.

Patients have felt that they are peripheral to the HTA process and that their involvement takes place too late in the process to make a real difference. Patient involvement is needed early and through all stages of the HTA process from topic selection, scoping, examining evidence, appraisal committee deliberation to determine value, and in formulating recommendations for funding or subsidy.

Elizabeth de Somer, CEO of Medicines Australia told Health Industry Hub “The forum has opened dialogue between industry, academia and patients about the opportunities that we can achieve together in the reform of Australia’s HTA. What has been said loud and clear is that patient experiences must be incorporated and appreciated when Government decision-makers are placing values on medicines.

“Today’s medicines, healthcare environment and patient awareness has rapidly changed and the expectation is that our systems must change too. I was encouraged to see the eager energy to collaborate at the Summit and it was widely recognised we need to continue working together to achieve real reform that improves our health system for patients.”

Several trends emerged from the discussions, of which collaboration between academia, industry and patient organisations was the most significant theme and critical to achieving success.

In reflecting on the themes from the Summit, Ann Single from Patient Voice Initiative said that it was promising to see the “appetite in the room for moving from combat to collaboration”.

Krystal Barter, Founder of Humanise Health, said “Being included in conversations in the way I was today was never conceivable nor possible when I started my advocacy work over 20 years ago. We had more doors shut in our face than opened as patients. It’s different now and if you’ve been around for a while, the change is evident. We still have so much more to do.”

The HTA reform will be somewhat challenging considering the current fiscal restraints. The participants agreed that it is imperative for stakeholders to articulate how improving the HTA processes will provide wider benefits beyond the health system, as seen through the COVID-19 pandemic.

A summary of the Summit discussions will be compiled in a white paper and potentially a scientific publication will be forthcoming.


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