BioCentury reports that the European Commission published an interim set of rules that would establish a permanent, voluntary network of EU member states to facilitate cooperation and sharing of information for health technology assessments (HTAs). Member states must send written notice to the EC to participate in the network, which will comprise the national authorities responsible for HTAs in each participating state. The EC will manage the network, which also will support the European Network for Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA) consortium. EUnetHTA is a group of government-appointed organizations, regional agencies and not-for-profits that produce or contribute to HTAs in 29 European countries, including 26 EU member states.
Last May in Moscow, I heard Hans Severens (Erasmus University) speak about “the possibilities and the impossibilities of HTA.” His main point (which became a mantra of all of the day’s presentations) is that, when it comes to HTA, “all decision-making must be made in a local context.” He also firmly stated that economic concerns are only one of many petals on the HTA flower – another point reinforced throughout the course of the program. Countries “shouldn’t just adopt NICE findings” but should assemble all available information and put all data into a local context.
If all politics is local – so to must HTA designs and decisions.