Greater cooperation between EU countries is needed. EU Commission plans legislative initiative.

MS – 06/2017

Public consultation on HTA

The European Commission conducted a public consultation to gather the opinions of organisations and citizens regarding Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and the need for further cooperation at EU level (see also article from Nov 2016). HTA involves the evaluation of new pharmaceuticals, medical devices and surgical procedures as well as methods for prevention and diagnosis. Ultimately, this affects price negotiations with manufacturers and reimbursements by health care funds. 


The aim of the consultation was to discuss the future of HTA at EU level. Issues such as the pooling of resources, knowledge exchange and avoiding duplication were part of the consultation. This is because not all Member States have their own HTA procedures and those that do tend to vary significantly.  


The first results of the consultation are now available. A total of 250 organisations and EU citizens took part in the questionnaires. 98 percent of respondents rated HTA as being useful in determining whether a new product is better or worse than an existing one. The fact that the procedure produces different results from one country to another was rated negatively, as was the fact that the same work is duplicated several times. As a result, 80 percent of respondents consider EU cooperation on HTA to be useful and support cooperation beyond 2020.  

Differences in opinions

The preferred option for organisations who responded was voluntary participation by the Member States but with mandatory uptake of the results. Respondents stated that the governance mechanism should be a new EU agency, an existing EU agency or the European Commission. Funding should come from a mix of EU funds, Member State contributions and industry fees. 


The National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV-Spitzenverband) is calling for cooperation on a voluntary basis, as well as voluntary uptake of the results. The differences in HTA methodologies among the Member States are too significant for there to be harmonised HTA cooperation. The GKV-Spitzenverband’s comments and recommendations are available here.  

What next?  

The Commission intends to present a Synopsis Report of the results by the end of the year as well as an impact assessment and a corresponding initiative.  


Further information on HTA can be found online here.