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EU’s HTx project aims to create framework for next generation health technology assessment

by Thomas Meek at ISPOR Warsaw
LONDON, 29 Mar (APM) - The EU is working on a new framework for next generation health technology assessment (HTA) that supports patient-centred, societally oriented, and real-time decision-making.
The HTx project launched at the beginning of the year and is due to run until 2024, said its lead Wim Goettsch at a conference on Thursday.
Goettsch, who is special HTA adviser at the Dutch National Health Care Institute and director of pan-EU HTA network EUnetHTA, said HTA processes need to keep up with changes in healthcare, such as more personalised, advanced therapies and the use of big data and digital technology.
He said the ideal healthcare system would mean that when a doctor sees a patient, they have access to their clinical history, as well as adequate clinical studies and real-world data to support a well-guided, real-time decision on treatment.
The question that HTx is trying to answer is what does this mean for HTA agencies, said Goettsch, who was speaking at an event in Warsaw, Poland, held by health economics organisation ISPOR.
“HTx will facilitate the development of methodologies to deliver more customised information on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of complex and personalised combinations of health technologies,” he said.
“HTx will also provide methods to support personalised treatment advice that will be shared with patients and their physicians”.
The project, which is part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 project, comes at a crucial time for an industry concerned that current HTA models are out of date for advanced cell and gene therapies that may be curative.
Last week experts at another conference debated whether the commonly used cost per quality adjusted life year (QALY) measure may no longer apply for many of today’s increasingly expensive new therapies (APMHE 62385).
The UK’s NICE, in particular, has come under fire from industry voices which say it needs to update its process for personalised medicine and rare diseases (APMHE 51466, APMHE 62148).
HTx is led by Utrecht University and involves several other academic institutions from across the EU. The group will also work in close collaboraiton with EUnetHTA to pilot the implentation of new methodologies in Europe.
Its work is divided into six different work packages, which were outline by Goettsch at the ISPOR event.
The first of these looks at treatment pathways in specific therapeutic areas to give a general framework for methods and to develop case studies in different areas, including cancer, diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
The second work package looks at using real-world data for evidence synthesis, while the third package looks at using artificial intelligence to forecast individualised treatments.
The other three work packages will assess the implementation of new methodologies into systems and process; the transferability of these methodologies; and the scientific coordination for the project.
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